Hall makes submission on Bill

The New Zealand Sports Hall of Fame made submissions to the Commerce Select Committee about the so-called “Flavell Bill,” more properly the Gambling (Gambling Harm Reduction) Amendment  Bill 2012.

The Bill, nicknamed for its promoter, Māori Party MP Te Ururoa Flavell, was introduced to Parliament in May and referred to the Commerce Select Committee. The committee, which has been receiving submissions throughout New Zealand, is scheduled to report back to the House in March.

The text of submissions cannot be made public until the Bill is reported back or unless the committee chooses to make them public.

One of the major provisions of the Bill, which is essentially aimed at reducing problem gambling, devolves to local authorities the distribution of funds raised via poker machines. It makes redundant the gaming machine trusts which currently make the distribution.
Local authorities under the Bill are required to distribute funds solely within their areas.

The Hall’s chief executive, Ron Palenski, sent written submissions to the Commerce Committee then appeared in person at sittings in Christchurch in October.

The explanatory note to the proposed legislation reads: “Electronic gambling machines venues tend to be overly represented in lower income communities and town centres. Māori and Pasifika populations are effectively being disproportionately targeted and often severely harmed by them. The harm generated by pokies in terms of poverty, relationship break-up, depression, domestic violence, crime, neglected children and the greatest losses by gamblers from pokie machines tend also to be drawn disproportionately from Māori, Pasifika and lower income communities and families.
“The Bill seeks to overcome these inequities of harm in the location and excessive numbers of pokies by enabling local authorities, in consultation with their communities, to reduce the number of, or even eliminate, pokies from those suburbs and towns where they are particularly concentrated or doing particular harm.”     

Available to buy online from the New Zealand Sports Hall of Fame...

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