Accepting charity from tobacco, alcohol and gambling industries risky business

Jacqui Stanford,
Publish Date
Monday, 11 July 2016, 6:44AM
Photo / NZME
Photo / NZME

An academic says tobacco, alcohol and gambling corporations have become highly effective in getting in the way of public health measures that could reduce harm.

In a new book, Auckland University's Professor Peter Adams has taken a close look at the Moral Jeopardy of accepting charitable profits from the three industries.

He said the donations enable legitimacy and a range of chains of influence.

"With alcohol, well in New Zealand I think we're way out of control. The industry makes pretty strong inroads through all sorts of means - through their advertising, through their connections to politicians. And with gambling, it's even worse."

Professor Adams said the SkyCity casino deal revealed the extent the political establishment and casinos are connecting.

He's also worried about the reliance many organisations now have on money from pokie machines.

He can understand the urge to accept money from pokie profits, but wonders about the future, he said.

"We're setting up long-term relationships between money that, probably a good chunk of it, comes from problem gamblers. And a lot of our arts, our sports groups, our educational groups, are funded by this, I would say, very unsustainable relationship."

Professor Adams argued New Zealand is at a point where if the pokie machine yield drops, there's huge outcry from the groups who rely upon it.

He said the industries are also expert at producing research that diverts attention away from public health measures, implying individuals are at fault - not the products or the way they've been managed.

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