INDEPENDENT NEWS

Is It Right? to fund community groups from pokies

Published: Tue 2 Aug 2016 11:53 AM
New campaign asks Is It Right? to fund community groups from pokies
A new campaign is asking people #Is It Right? to fund community groups from pokies when they cause so much harm.
The #Is It Right? campaign has been launched by the Problem Gambling Foundation of New Zealand (PGF) to encourage people to have their say on the review of class 4 gambling (pokies in pubs, clubs and hotels) being undertaken by the Department of Internal Affairs (DIA).
Pesio Ah-Honi Siitia, National Public Health Manager at PGF, says it is an important issue for communities and the campaign aims to raise awareness of the review and encourage people to give feedback.
“We want to encourage people to have their say on the way pokies in pubs, clubs and bars operate in our communities. The #Is It Right campaign provides information on specific areas the DIA have asked for feedback on in its discussion document, whether it be the influence of local councils on pokies in our communities, how harmful gambling is managed, or how we can improve the community funding process,” she says.
Up to 500,000 people are impacted by harmful gambling in New Zealand. Every person with a gambling problem affects between five and ten other people.
Harmful gambling can lead to poor parenting, crime, family violence and children going without food and other needs.
Pokie venues are not legally allowed to profit from pokies and societies (pokie trusts) are required to return a minimum of 40% of the money lost on pokies back to communities in the form of authorised purpose grants.
Pesio Ah-Honi Siitia says organisations who are receiving grants from societies should think about where the money is coming from.
“The ethical question is… can we take this money from gambling knowing the harm it causes?” she says.
New Zealanders can have their say by visiting www.isitright.nz and make a submission online or by email direct to the DIA gamblingreview@dia.govt.nz.
Submissions close 12 August 2016.
Ends

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