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Stopping casinos hurting our communities

Written By: - Date published: 7:53 am, October 18th, 2013 - 97 comments
Categories: greens - Tags: ,

Imagine if cigarette makers gave out free packs to target groups to get them hooked and if you were trying to quit smoking and you had a ‘loyalty’ card with your cigarette maker then, when they noticed you had stopped making purchases, they sent you a free pack. That’s what casinos do. Freebies are used to hook people into gambling and keep them hooked. The Greens will stop them.

If the amount of harm that a casino causes a community was in the form of air pollution spewing out over the city, rather than ‘hidden’ in broken homes, crimes, and suicides, then it would be shut down immediately. But the harm is no less real for being less visible.

The Greens are going to do something about it. They’ve selected specific tools to break the problem gambling cycle, which casinos depend upon for 40% of their revenue.

The Greens will stop casinos advertising to self-identified problem gamblers. They will stop casinos giving anyone freebies and other gifts for gambling. And they will make ‘pre-committment’ cards for pokies mandatory – where the maximum loss and maximum playtime are pre-set before the person starts playing.

As I’m writing this, on Breakfast they’re discussing tools to target cancer. It looks to me like the Greens have selected tools to target a cancer at the heart of our cities. Well done.


97 comments on “Stopping casinos hurting our communities”

  1. BM 1

    Greens = 10% of the votes, they get fuck all say.

    If the Greens think Cunliffe will evenly share the baubles of power and rubber stamp every Green brain fart they’re more deluded than what I thought.

    Greens are there to make up the numbers and stay quiet, that is all.

    • karol 1.1

      Take a seat. Breathe deeply. The sky is not falling.

      • BM 1.1.1

        Honestly Karol, the greens are going to do this, the greens are going to do that.

        No they’re not, they’ll have very little power and sway, it will be Cunliffe calling the shots, not Norman or Tureii.

        How Cunliffe handles the Greens at the next election will make or break Labour.

        • miravox

          Cunliffe might just like this policy. I do, even though I’m not a Green voter.

          • BM

            I’d be surprised if he did.

            All that over the top hard left nonsense Cunners was spouting was just to get into power.

            From here on in to the next election, he’s going to swing back to the middle and try to be all inclusive.

            • Lightly

              so, aside from all the bluster, what are your actual problems with the policy?

              • You_Fool

                BM’s issue is that it was brought up by the greens and that it infringes on the “rights” of big business

                • miravox

                  Exactly. Although the card idea was first bought up by the coalition government (Maori Party), but I guess they sold that for something else…

                  The Greens are advocating for a card that people can pre-load to make up their own minds about how much they want to gamble. A bit like a Visa card limit, I reckon and I don’t see many people saying that’s a bad idea.

                  The Greens are saying that people should be able to make up their own minds about when they want to go to a casino and not have weaknesses that may harm them be exposed by enticements.

                  Advocating for the people’s freedom to choose, rather than SkyCity’s desire to entice. I can’t see a problem.

            • Plan B

              ‘every dollar spent at a casino is a dollar not spent on my products, why should I support the casino. I say close them down, and lotto so people have more money to spend on my products- what is wrong with that?

        • Colonial Viper

          Any specific reason that you are backing billion dollar gambling enterprises, BM?

          • BM

            I don’t do an us vs them mindset.

            Thing is, I don’t gamble, the house always wins and I find it dull beyond belief, but I’m not so pious to think that I should stop anyone else that does enjoy a punt.

            I would have thought the Greens and Labour would have learnt by now, stay out of peoples lives, it’s what got them booted out last time.

            • Colonial Viper

              So after all those excuses, why are you still backing the side of billion dollar enterprises?

            • Lightly

              how do these policies stop people gambling?

              • Colonial Viper

                BM doesn’t like to give people the tools they need and want to use which help them manage their lives better.

                It’s actually BM who is interfering with ordinary peoples’ lives and giving people new choices.

              • Tracey

                Putting blocks in place gives someone driven by an addiction space and distance to consider if they will follow the urge. Unfettered access makes it WAY harder to resist the addictive urges. I have a dear friend who has a gambling addiction and has lost thousands of dollars she couldnt afford. She has banned herself from sky casino and attends counselling and devises strategies. However the urge, when it comes is incredibly strong, and having easy access makes it too easy to give in to the urges. She works so hard to deal with it, and has come a long way, but it is a lifetime thing.

            • karol

              stay out of peoples lives, it’s what got them booted out last time.

              tell that to Paula Bennett! Or Simon Bridges! Or JohnKey with his GCSB and TICs Bills!

              Or is it only interfering in the lives of big businesses profiteering from human misery that you object to?

            • framu

              “I don’t do an us vs them mindset.”

              yeah that wasnt the question was it

              the fact is that there is a big downside to gambling, and there are vast profits to be generated – just like there are big downsides and vast profits to drinking, smoking or any other vice, legal or illegal

              So – do we try and minimise the harm, (or at least get the business in question to pay up for the harm that is a by product of the business) – or do we just say “ah fuck it – do whatever you like”?

              keep in mind that sky city have a track record of being less than honest and less than effective with their harm reduction measures

            • grumpy

              Hi BM, I think you are wrong on this one. There is no right wing support for casinos – everyone I know regards them as licensed larceny and a trap for the gullible and desperate.
              I would be very happy to just see them banned – of course then Lennie would have to find somewhere else for his private bonkfests.

              • karol

                Was Lennie bonking in the Casino? Oh, he definitely should resign.

                • Lanthanide

                  Apparently he used a room at the skycity hotel at least once. Likely he paid for the room himself however.

                  • grumpy

                    Word is that it was a “freebie”.

                    • If Sky City provided a room free of charge for Len Brown’s illicit sexual liaisons – then – in my considered opinion – given his Auckland Council Governing Body vote on 27 June 2013 in support of the Sky City deal, this arguably could be seen as a form of bribery and corruption.

                      If Sky City provided a room free of charge for Len Brown’s illicit sexual liaisons, then this legally, in my considered opinion, takes things way past breaches of the toothless Auckland Council ‘Code of Conduct’ ( a breach of which is NOT an offence under the Local Government Act 2002).

                      It’s starting to get really stinky ……………….

                      Seriously unimpressed.

                      Penny Bright
                      ‘Anti-corruption /anti-privatisation Public Watchdog’

            • Murray Olsen

              Stay out of people’s lives – you must hate the GCSB stuff, Bennet’s ramping up of spying on beneficiaries, increased police powers, increased demands from WINZ, enforced enrolment in child care for poor kids…………
              …………..or don’t you have a life away from the shower head?

        • Puddleglum

          ACT seem to have been very influential at getting their local body reforms, resource management reforms and charter school policies enacted, despite their extremely low polling at the last election.

          Or perhaps you think that it is far easier to twist John Key’s arm than David Cunliffe’s?

    • Lanthanide 1.2

      Did you consider that perhaps Labour would be quite happy to go with Green proposals on social issues, while keeping the economic decisions for themselves?

      • BM 1.2.1

        Labour will go with whatever gets them across the line.


        • Lightly

          They’re going to get over the line with the Greens easy

        • felix

          Just above you were adamant that Labour would give the Greens no say in anything.

          Now you think they’ll give them anything they want to get across the line.

          Blind hatred is fogging your mind. Anger is clouding your thinking. Probably about time for your walk. Ring for a nurse, there’s a good boy.

    • You_Fool 1.3

      Of course BM, this policy might resonate with the public and more people vote green, (that is what releasing policy before an election is meant to do) meaning they get 15-20% of the vote, which should mean that they get listened to more, and people like you can go hide in your hole under a bridge

    • framu 1.4

      actually the greens are there to represent those that voted for them.

      And i do hope you will be calling for an even harsher treatment of act – what was their % again?

    • Tracey 1.5

      come now, Act has what percentage? And Dunne? They have had quite alot of say… they have at times been tails wagging a dog. 10% is a decent chunk of kiwis by comparrison.

    • Enough is Enough 1.6

      That Was Helen Clark’s position but that dismissive stance towards the Green Party is in the past.

      This is a strong credible Green Party that is leading the workers movement and the Labour Party knows and accepts that. It can not ignore us any more and to its credit it is not.

      The Green Party will be a cornerstone of the next Labour/Green government. You may not like that BM but it is the truth.

      Get used to it chief. There is a new team ridng into town now to bring your neoliberal dream to an end.

      Ha Fucking Ha.

      • Tracey 1.6.1

        Agree, Labour must know that the rise of the greens includes former labour voters, so a dismissive or arrogant stance toward Greens will not help Labour.

  2. Ron 2

    In my opinion Greens and Labour should jointly call for a Royal Commission into the whole Gambling/Casino business to look at benefits and harms from this Industry. It has been a while since the legalising of casinos and it would be good to look at what we have learnt over that period. The Commission should also look at the ownership of such enterprises. If casino gambling is deemed to be needed in society then we should look at who should run it. Maybe it would be better run by the state similar to Lotto. There would certainly be less shonky deals conducted if the casinos were controlled and run by state entities that were subject to stringent audits and with oversight of a minister of the crown.

  3. The tools the Greens are going to bring in hardly seem onerous – I hope they make a difference, and every step to help problem gamblers is a good step. I’d like to see more education – at the casino door – some big signs, images of crying kids, take the glamor away – there are in truth not many James Bond’s in there. People can still make their choice but the facts will be more visible and the illusions less persuasive.

  4. Red Horse 4

    The Greens are dreaming with their control-freak regulations. We need less, not more, government intervention.

    If I want to gamble, I will, so leave me alone.

    • karol 4.1

      Because it’s all about you.

      You must also be really angry about Paula Bennett’s welfare reforms, the GCSB and TICs’ surveillance legislation, Key’s government interfering in local councils….etc, etc.

    • framu 4.2

      explain how your being prevented from gambling by this proposal

      “The Greens will stop casinos advertising to self-identified problem gamblers. They will stop casinos giving anyone freebies and other gifts for gambling. And they will make ‘pre-committment’ cards for pokies mandatory – where the maximum loss and maximum playtime are pre-set before the person starts playing.”

      so unless your a problem gambler who gets freebies from sky city, and cant stick to a budget on a night out – whats your damn problem?

    • grumpy 4.3

      I have seriously broken off friendships with people who frequent the casino. Shows a weakness of character I just can’t be bothered with.
      Also……there is no better way to launder criminally obtained money.

    • Tracey 4.4


    • MrSmith 4.5

      No Red Horse why should we leave you alone, gambling is basically self mutilation which inadvertently then affects a lot of other people negatively, so proposing anything that can help people realize, limit or give up this masochistic behavior can only be good for everyone involved, except for the blood sucking casino of-course and the shareholders.

  5. grumpy 5

    OK, so lets say that casinos are evil (which they are). The Greens and Labour are determined to at least put more controls on them.
    Problem : Len Brown came out in support of SkyCity.
    Bigger problem: It appears that SkyCity was letting Len have free use of a room for bonking.
    Even bigger problem: If SkyCity was doing that, they would have a hold over Len and could use that to their advantage.
    Huge problem: They may well have.

    As far as I can see there is no difference between Lennie and Banksie, lying devious bastards both of them. Chuck them both out.

    • karol 5.1

      Well, if Brown was accepting free hotel rooms in return for SkyCity support over the Conference centre and pokie deal, he should resign.

      I’ll be interested to see the outcome of McKay’s inquiry – hope it is truly independent.

      • Tracey 5.1.1

        agree… if he was being bribed, which is the allegation above, he should resign.

        • grumpy

          No, he put himself into a position where he could be bribed, or worse, blackmailed.
          The left were very upset that he supported SkyCity. …….now, if this were Banksie……or Keysie……

      • grumpy 5.1.2

        Hotels have a very good CCTV system. They (if they wanted to) could have kept video footage of his assignations. Bear in mind that he only just has told his wife………….
        ….and, why, when all his supporters opposed the SkyCity deal, did he support it…..a body blow for the opposition?

  6. Ron 6

    As long as they are free it should be OK. Its paying for things that get you into trouble

  7. How are the greens going to stop a legit business handing out freebies, in fact how fuckin dare they, even suggest the idea.

    • Tracey 7.1

      I see your “fuckin” and raise you two more.

      As opposed to the national government handing out freebies to business and foreign investors. How dare they not only suggest it but do it, and how fucking dare you be outraged at assisting reduction of problem gambling (at no detriment to gamblers with no problem)s, and have no outrage for the government handouts to business. How fucking hypocritical and sanctimonious of you.

      Now you object to suggested ideas… the right really fucking hate democracy dont they brett.

      • Brett Dale 7.1.1


        The greens have no right to stop a private business giving out freebies to a legal product.

        • Pascal's bookie

          The greens don’t, but any government does.

          • McFlock

            Indeed – tobacco, for instance.

            Not to mention other public welfare restrictions on firearms, explosives and alcohol (ever since that unfortunate case of the “L’il Drunkard Anarchist’s Bumper Bag of Fun for Ages 4 and Up”).

            But they’ll only take the supermarket vibrators from my clenched, cramped [fingers]… 🙂

        • framu

          govt puts restrictions on business all the time

          there are many legal businesses that have undesirable factors in them – pollution, waste, social harm etc etc

          govt putting restrictions or standards on those things is how the general public controls those negative aspects

          jesus brett – why do you work so hard to say such silly things?

        • Chris

          Brett, perhaps you should tell this current lot Nats and Maori they have no business telling the Tobacco Company in Petone who used to provide free cigarettes for their employees how to run their private business.

      • grumpy 7.1.2

        lot of fucking going on there Tracey……….just sayin…….

    • fender 7.2


      With law changes perhaps? It’s a thing governments do Brett, so don’t forget to vote Lab/Greens and you can feel like you have played your part in making NZ a better place.

      • Brett Dale 7.2.1


        Nothing will change with this policy, no one will stop gambling because a casino isnt giving out freebies.

        • fender

          LOL….thanks for clearing that up oh great hover-boredom godboy.

          • Brett Dale


            Everybody needs a hoverboard, not sure what you meant by the godboy comment, im not religious.

            • fender

              Oh my mistake…you sound like god….there’s some other fools around….they need a leader…could you at least consider leading the congregation….of stupidity…

              • fender:

                The church of the hoverboard, the church where science rules, the church that allows no bigotry, the church that loves all people, straight/gay/bi/transgender/the church where data entry clerks are treated with the dignity and respect we deserved, the church where we can sing Garth’s we shall be free, a song that talks of tolerance for all religions and people who anit religious, the church that will bring at least two nba regular season games to NZ, along with NFL, MLB and NHL. A church that loves everybody, a church that doesnt allow any anti americanism, a church for the short, the tall, the fat the skinny. A church that DOESNT ask for money from the people who attend.

                Hows that for starters.

        • Lightly

          wait, so you think that casinos give out free stuff out of the goodness of their hearts, not because it encourages more gambling, especially when they target known problem gamblers?

          That makes no sense. They’re a business. They don’t give away stuff for fun.

    • Lightly 7.3

      Casinos are banned from offering inducements in several Australian states. I expect the Greens will do it like they do it there.

  8. Fender:

    Its not the point anyway, the greens should have no right to stop a company giving freebies
    to their customers, thats insane.

    • Pascal's bookie 8.1

      What about alcohol or ciggies?

      And it’s not about ‘the greens’ doing it. they think ‘the government’ should do it.

    • miravox 8.2

      “the greens should have no right to stop a company giving freebies to their customers, thats insane.”

      Is that in principle, Brett? Or just for casinos?

    • Lightly 8.3

      Here’s the law on tobacco:

      28 Free distribution and rewards prohibited

      (1) No manufacturer, distributor, importer, or retailer of tobacco products may,—

      (a) distribute any tobacco product; or

      (b) supply any tobacco product to any person for subsequent distribution; or

      (c) in the case of a retailer, supply any tobacco product to any person for the purpose of that retailer’s business—

      free of charge, or at a reduced charge.

    • fender 8.4

      Yeah Brett that’s insane…where’s the free carton of smokes Philip Morris promised me…

    • framu 8.5

      ” should have no right to stop a company giving freebies
      to their customers,”

      what if it was hookers brett? – you cool with that?

    • grumpy 8.6

      What if it was a Mayor looking for a room for bonking that he didn’t have to pay for (no audit trail)?

  9. Dazzer 9

    Anyone else thinking what I’m thinking – wouldn’t this be a more consistent approach from the Greens?

    The Green Party recognises that:

    A gambling-free lifestyle is the healthiest;
    All gambling can cause harm, regardless of their legal status.
    Not all gambling is problematic.

    Some current government policies do not reduce harm but rather create a further set of problems.

    To reduce gambling abuse;
    To minimise the harm of legal gambling on society and individual users.

    • Lightly 9.1

      those are principles, you need the level below – policy – to say how you would realise those principles, otherwise all you’ve got is vague ideas.

  10. captain hook 10

    the thing about casinos is that they know that gamblers have a need to lose and be punished for unconscious conflicts that reside in the mental apparatus.
    And like all operators of this particular human peccadillo they actually love it when people cant pay then they have a legit reason to strongarm them.
    Thats life in the twenty first century dudes.

    • Brett Dale 10.1

      Captain Hook:

      You’ve been watching the Sopranos?

      • captain hook 10.1.1

        I have been reading the technical literature that explains addiction and its consequences.
        AS for the Sopranos I dont do thugs nor the peddlers of fake glamour like Guido Running Deer and his mates.

  11. Tracey 11


    if they can get a law passed they can. Actually the card blocker is the idea that got my attention.

    nats took our money and gave it to scf foreign investors when they werent covered by the guarantee. Thats a freebie and they didnt have to pass a law. So, to use your vernacular, fuck off

  12. King Kong 12

    Why just casinos? What about the TAB? Surely all TAB punters should have to jump through the same hoops that the Greens are proposing for pokie players.

    Of course this won’t happen because the people that like a flutter on the horses are not all “dumb coconuts” and would tell the Greens to fuck off out of their personal spending decisions.

    Using the cigerette analogy, this is like putting restictions on the cheap brands like Holiday e.t.c. whilst leaving Marlboro and Dunhill to carry on as they were.

    • framu 12.1

      what is it with you and the racism? Its really weird

      also – please explain where the proposal removes the ability for someone to make their own spending decisions or prevents anyone from gambling

    • ak 12.2

      Wrong, Wan: the correct analogy, supported by all the evidence, is Meth/weed.

    • captain hook 12.3

      Maybe just tying them down and making them watch and endless re run of kk would do the trick?

    • grumpy 12.4

      The TAB is a mugs game. Racing is totally corrupt – and I have been a thoroughbred breeder.

    • Plan B 12.5

      can this racist comment be retracted please
      casions capture plenty of white folk as well, horse racing is a very different sort of gambling vs pokies – but you know that already

    • Enough is Enough 12.6

      It SHOULD apply to all forms of legal gambling.

      Thanks for pointing it out monkey boy

  13. tricldrown 13

    TheKing kong I see one of your tea party chimpanzee mates was euthanased last week she was adored unlike you.
    Hopefully your next on the list.
    I would like to see an increase in tax on gambling as it creates a 5to 6 billion dollar drag on the community.
    That extra tax going to stamp out problem gambling police time is already being wasted on crime associated with gambling at the bottom of the cliff.
    20% of gamblers are doing most of the damage we need an a rope at the top of the cliff not an ambulance with band aids at the bottom
    Typical tory policy all talk and no action.

  14. Tracey 14

    Sorry brett are you now resiling from using fuck to punctuate comments cos I only started using it when you did because I thought I would try to communicate in your language of choice.

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    Speculators are running riot in the Auckland housing market making life tougher for first home buyers, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  Newly released data from Core Logic shows a 40 per cent increase in the share of house sales ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Disconnected thinking dirties the water
    Iain Rabbitts’ belief that drinking water quality, charging for water use and the land use that leads to water quality degradation should be treated separately is part of the problem we have right now in this country. The connection is ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    2 weeks ago
  • Report back from Hands Off Our Tamariki hui
    This week I attended a hui in Otaki organised by Hands Off Our Tamariki about the proposed reforms to the Child Young Persons and their Families Act. Moana Jackson and Paora Moyle spoke.  They expressed deep, profound concern about the proposed ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour mourns passing of Helen Kelly
    Helen Kelly was a passionate advocate for working New Zealanders and for a safe and decent working life, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says.  “Helen Kelly spent her adult life fighting for the right of every working person to ...
    2 weeks ago
  • National’s visionless immigration policy
    National’s recent immigration announcement is a continuation of the visionless approach to government that it has displayed in the last three terms. Rather than using the levers of government to implement a sustainable immigration policy that benefits new and current ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    2 weeks ago
  • Andrew Little: Speech to the Police Association Conference 2016
    Police Association delegates, Association life members and staff, representatives from overseas jurisdictions. Thank you for inviting me here today. The Police Association has become a strong and respected voice for Police officers and for policing in New Zealand. There is ...
    2 weeks ago
  • 1,000 more police for safer communities
    Labour will fund an extra 1,000 Police in its first term to tackle the rising rate of crime, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. “Labour will put more cops on the beat to keep our communities safe. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Call for all-party round table on homelessness
    Labour is calling on the Government to take part in a roundtable meeting to hammer out a cross-party agreement on ending homelessness.  Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford said the country wanted positive solutions to homelessness, and wanted the political parties ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Seclusion rooms in schools
    Schools are undoubtedly stretched and underfunded to cope with students with high learning support needs. But this cannot justify the use of rooms (or cupboards) as spaces to forcibly isolate children. It has emerged via media that this practice continues ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    2 weeks ago
  • Public should get a say on new Waikato power station
    I had an opinion piece published in the Waikato Times about a controversial proposal to build a new gas-fired power station. It’s not on their website yet, so here it is: If you think the public would get a say ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes
    2 weeks ago
  • MSD and their investment approach
    The Government talks about investment but there is no investment. It is not investment if it isn’t over the whole of life and if there is no new money  — Shamubeel Eaqub   Investment sounds like adequate resourcing but this ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    2 weeks ago
  • Certainty needed for community services
    A couple of months ago I was at a seminar where three community organisations were presenting. Two of the three presenters were waiting to find out if their organisation would get a contract renewed with MSD. Not knowing if their ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    2 weeks ago
  • Domestic Violence – some advice for the media
    For the purpose of this piece, I’m going to use Domestic Violence (DV) as a proxy for intimate partner violence. DV is not isolated to physical abuse in a relationship between people with the same power. DV is a pattern of ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    3 weeks ago
  • Leroy’s New Paw Prints
    Leroy, an Auckland great dane recently received a new 3D printed bionic leg after cancer was discovered. I think this is a fantastic story and highlights the real potential of additive manufacturing, or 3D printing Leroy’s prosthetic was printed in titanium and was ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes
    3 weeks ago