INDEPENDENT NEWS

Greens won't play the pokies

Published: Thu 19 Sep 2002 08:45 AM
Greens won't play the pokies
The Green Party Spokesperson on Gambling, Sue Bradford has turned down an invitation to the opening of the new Hamilton casino today.
Ms Bradford says her attendance would compromise the Green position on the Responsible Gambling Bill, which is currently before select committee.
"Gaming machines are a source of huge misery and poverty for many low income families," said Sue Bradford. "Problem gambling hurts the community. It hurts the individual affected, it hurts their family and it hurts their wider circle, of workmates and friends.
"Casino gaming and non-casino gaming machines are disproportionately responsible for problem gambling, compared to things like TAB and Lotto.
The Greens support a moratorium on any more new casinos; a gradual reduction in the number of pokie machines; the right of local people to have a much greater say on whether pokie outlets are set up in their neighbourhoods and a total restructuring of how the profits from such machines are distributed. "During the election we did not accept any donations derived from gambling because we believe it is unethical to benefit from the suffering and misery of others," said Ms Bradford.
"The Greens are part of an increasing number of organisations who are refusing on principle to take money derived from pokies.
"We challenge all political parties - and in particular the Labour Party - to declare whether they received any donations derived from these machines. We think the public has a right to know."

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