3News 4 August 2013
Sweeping amendments to crack down on gambling are being proposed by Labour after Government representatives “gutted” a gambling harm bill.
Labour’s internal affairs spokesman Trevor Mallard has unveiled a dozen proposed amendments to Maori Party MP Te Ururoa Flavell’s Gambling Harm Reduction Amendment Bill.
The Government is backing the bill after the Maori Party agreed to support its Sky City convention centre deal – but Mr Mallard says Mr Flavell’s bill now has no teeth after being watered down by Government MPs at a select committee.
It was designed to minimise the harm caused by pokie machines, with provisions relating to the use of technology to limit harm, powers for local authorities, preventing racing clubs from profiting from pokies and changes to the way funds are distributed to communities.
Those measures were mostly removed by the commerce select committee and Mr Mallard says the bill now does barely anything to reduce harm.
His proposed amendments include:
- removing all of the commerce committee’s amendments to the bill
- new funds distribution measures, and restrictions on payments to trustees and directors of gambling organisations
- enabling new regulations for a sinking lid on gaming machines to 10,000 by 2025, and for harm-minimisation technology
- restricting gambling hours.