INDEPENDENT NEWS

Casino Ban: More PC Meddling From The Government

Published: Mon 30 Jul 2001 09:48 AM
The Government's decision to block any more new casino developments is more populist politically correct meddling, ACT Internal Affairs Spokesman Penny Webster said.
"We are now going to have the bizarre situation where Queenstown has two casinos but the capital, Wellington, will never be able to have one ' with resulting lost opportunities in tourism and regional development. Likewise tourist areas such as Rotorua are now also being told by the Government what sort of business development they can and cannot undertake.
"It is another example of this Government deciding it knows best and never mind the consequences.
"The Internal Affairs Minister's further announcement that the Ministry of Health will co-ordinate gambling prevention and treatment and that 'funding will come from the gaming sector' looks like a precursor to a compulsory levy being placed on gaming operators.
"The gaming companies fully recognise the need for prevention and treatment programmes and already contribute substantial funds for this purpose.
"Through the measures it has announced and will announce, this heavy handed, arbitrary Government is likely to destroy the existing goodwill from the gaming companies. Money which has willingly been given to assist gambling problems will now likely be very grudgingly given ' the Government and the gaming sector will be at odds.
"What we are seeing is a cash-strapped Government moving towards yet another tax on business ' with likely adverse effects on the economy to follow," Penny Webster said.
Ends

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