5 Sep 2013

Problem gambling bill seen as hijacked

7:40 am on 5 September 2013

Opposition parties say legislation that aims to reduce gambling harm has been hijacked by the Government and will do nothing to help problem gambling.

The Gambling Harm Reduction Bill passed its final reading on Wednesday night.

The bill, in the name of Maori Party co-leader Te Ururoa Flavell, would have required gaming machine proceeds to be solely distributed locally.

It would also have forced machine operators to track players and provide pre-paid cards.

But these provisions were scrapped during the select-committee stage, to ensure the Government would support the bill.

Labour and the Green Party say the bill has been gutted and pays only lip-service to addressing problem gambling.