INDEPENDENT NEWS

Amendments aimed at reducing gambling harm

Published: Sun 4 Aug 2013 11:40 AM
Trevor MALLARD
Internal Affairs Spokesperson
4 August  2013
MEDIA STATEMENT
Amendments aimed at reducing gambling harm
Labour's Internal Affairs Spokesperson Trevor Mallard has today released a series of amendments to Te Ururoa Flavell’s Gambling (Gambling Harm Reduction) Amendment Bill that seek to reduce the harm caused by problem gambling.
"This bill has been completely gutted by Government members at select committee. It now does barely anything to reduce gambling harm and the changes foisted on the committee by Government MPs will only increase gambling.
"My amendments would remove the select committee's changes entirely and, amongst other improvements, prevent racing clubs profiting from poker machines.
"The Government has wasted this opportunity to make a real difference to our communities.
“While the Bill is a conscience vote for Labour - and I am encouraging my colleagues to support these amendments - I know some do not support all of them and there are also others drafting alternatives,” Trevor Mallard said.
List of Supplementary Order Papers:
SOP 286 would remove the Commerce Committee’s amendments to the Bill.
SOP 291 would provide that, if a class 4 venue licence is to be transferred, the maximum number of gaming machines permitted to operate at the new venue at the time when the new class 4 venue licence takes effect shall be no more than 75% of the maximum number of gaming machines permitted to operate at the old venue immediately before the licence relating to the old venue is cancelled.
SOP 292 would ensure that no class 4 venue licence may be transferred to an area that has higher deprivation than the old venue.
SOP 296 would provide that the minimum amount of net proceeds that a licence holder must distribute for authorised purposes is the proportion equivalent to 40% of its GST exclusive gross proceeds from the commencement of the financial year ending 31 March 2015, with the proportion increasing by 1% each subsequent financial year until 31 March 2024.
SOP 297 would provide that the Governor-General must, by Order in Council made on the recommendation of the Minister, make regulations for the purposes of prescribing and reducing annually the maximum number of gaming machines that may be operated in New Zealand and in any area within New Zealand, prescribing policies, procedures, or systems for considering class 4 operator licence applications for the maximum limits set under subsection 314(1)(a), and prescribing any transitional and savings provisions for the maximum limits set under subsection 314(1)(a).
SOP 298 would provide that the Governor-General may, by Order in Council made on the recommendation of the Minister, make regulations for the purposes of prescribing the use of player tracking or other harm-minimisation devices, technology, or systems in or associated with gaming machines. This Supplementary Order Paper also requires all class 4 gambling operators and casinos to use player tracking devices, pre-commitment cards, or other devices designed to permit responsible gambling and maximise player knowledge about, and control over, their gambling, or minimise gambling-related harm originating at the venue. A similar provision was included in the Bill as introduced but the Commerce Committee recommended the provisions’ deletion.
SOP 299 would provide that the total remuneration that can be paid to trustees or directors of a corporate society that conducts class 4 gaming must be no greater than $100,000 in any 12 month period.
SOP 300 would require corporate societies to provide to the Department information relating to the distribution of proceeds from gambling or the remuneration paid to individual trustees or directors of societies. The amendment would also require the Department to publish this information within 10 working days of receipt.
SOP 301 would require an integrated problem gambling strategy to include host requirements and standards with such an aim. The amendment would also provide that the Department may cancel or suspend the licence of any casino or class 4 operator or class 4 venue if the licensee does not meet the host responsibility requirements and standards.
SOP 302 would reinstate provision removed at Commerce Committee to provide that territorial authorities must have regard to the social impact of gambling, the evidence of harm from gambling and public sentiment about the extent and location of gambling venues in adopting their policy on class 4 venues. This amendment would also require a territorial authority’s policy on class 4 venues to have regard to introducing a policy of revoking class 4 licences in deprivation 9 and 10 areas.
SOP 303 would provide for a vision to reduce the numbers of gaming machines to 10,000 by 1 January 2025.
SOP 304 would provide that, in addition to restrictions already provided for in relation to certain public holidays, casino gambling must not be conducted on any other day between the hours of 4 am and 9 am. This amendment would also provide for restricted hours of operation at class 4 venues. These amendments would ensure that problem gamblers are not able to gamble for an unrestricted period of time.
ENDS

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