Gambling bill wins early nod

NZ Herald 10 May 2012
Legislation to feed gambling proceeds back into communities and change the behaviour of problem gamblers was strongly backed at its first hurdle in Parliament late last night. Maori Party MP Te Ururoa Flavell’s bill passed its first reading in a conscience vote, with 83 votes in favour and seven against. All parties except New Zealand First lent their support to the Gambling (Gambling Harm Reduction) Amendment Bill. If passed, Mr Flavell’s bill will make sure that 80 per cent of gambling proceeds go back into the area where the gambling takes place. Communities will get the power to cut the number of pokies in their area if they feel they are harmful. And pokie trusts, many of which have come under fire for their lack of transparency and compliance, will be phased out over a year and replaced by local committees.