Yesterday RNZ reported:
Govt refusing to release advice on pokies
The Government is refusing to disclose official advice about a proposal to increase the number of gaming machines at Sky City casino in Auckland as part of a deal to build a new convention centre.
In response to a request under the Official Information Act, outgoing Internal Affairs Minister Amy Adams refused to release reports she has received about the proposal.
Gee I wonder why they won’t release the advice. Could it be because it would be similar to the advice of the Problem Gambling Foundation:
Problem gambling creates morally bankrupt society
Press Release: Problem Gambling Foundation
17 August 2005
“The murder of a Taranaki man is possibly the worst result of problem gambling,” says John Stansfield, CEO of the Problem Gambling Foundation of New Zealand (PGF).
“Reports show that gambling-related crime is becoming more violent, involving greater amounts of money and causing more harm to communities,” says Mr Stansfield.
“We are seeing individuals commit acts of kidnapping and extortion, fraud, neglect and a variety of other crimes in order to feed gambling problems via the pokie machines. … Each year over 5000 New Zealanders are convicted of gambling-related crimes.
A 2004 KPMG study found that gambling was the second highest motivator for serious property crime, and the highest motivator for fraud.
Gambling affects more than individuals. For every person with a gambling problem, seven people are affected. These people are whanau, children, friends, employers and the wider community. “The economic, social and cultural costs to this community are huge,” he says. …
Government Minister Tariana Turia, who says that problem gambling is “one of the most serious hazards facing communities”, gives the following advice:
…The biggest challenge ahead for us all is not to become submerged under the turbulent waters associated with problem gambling; but to stay united and strong on the aspirations of our whanau. …
What we know from all the facts and figures around us, is that Maori are over-represented as clients, as significant others, as those affected by gambling.The New Zealand Health Survey showed that Maori were approximately four times more likely to be problem gamblers than the rest of the population. …
All too often we know that the harm of gambling is inter-generational. Gambling has become normalised – the card games played for money in our youth; housie nights at the marae; or batons up to raise funds for the club has become replaced by new forms of gambling dominated by the pokie machines. …
Other government ministers and bodies have plenty of advice:
$55m package for problem gambling announced
Internal Affairs Minister Nathan Guy and Associate Health Minister Peter Dunne have announced a new funding package and plans to tackle problem gambling today.
“The Problem Gambling Levy, which is imposed on gambling operators, has been set at 0.9% of the forecast $5.9 billion gross profits from gambling over the next three years,” says Mr Guy.
“This $55m in funding goes to the Ministry of Health to fund problem gambling services and minimise the harm caused in communities. It will be used on frontline counselling, including dedicated services for Maori, Pacific and Asian communities. “It will also be used on prevention activities that encourage safe gambling practices and on scientific research and evaluation.
“Cabinet has decided that the weighting formula will remain the same as for the previous three years. Pokie machine operators will continue to pay the highest share of the levy, as this is where most problem gambling is associated.”
Mr Dunne has welcomed the release of the Ministry of Health’s Preventing and Minimising Gambling Harm Strategic Plan 2010/11-2015/16, and the Preventing and Minimising Gambling Harm Service Plan 2010/11-2012/13.
“Gambling harm continues to have a significant impact on New Zealand communities, but the funding package and measures announced today build on the Government’s commitment to address this issue,” says Mr Dunne.
“These strategies, along with the levy, will help us combat the harm caused in communities by problem gambling.”
The plans are available online at http://www.moh.govt.nz/problemgambling
No, the Nats don’t want to hear any more advice like that, so they will keep blocking the current reports. And John Key will keep lying:
“Prime Minister John Key says hundreds of extra pokies at Sky City Casino will not increase gambling addiction”