Community organizations across New Zealand are getting up in arms about the new Harm Reduction Bill that has been proposed. Aimed at potentially reducing the number of poker machines in certain areas across New Zealand, these groups are worried that they will lose out on valuable funding. Some are so concerned that they have begun lobbying against the bill, and the National Sports Organisations Leadership Group is one of the them.
However, political parties do not believe that a community organization has any place siding with the gambling industry. According to Denise Roche of The Greens, the group should not be involved in the lobbying efforts of pokie trusts.
“It is completely unacceptable that a group ostensibly set up to promote sport is lining up with pokie trusts”, said Ms Roche.
Some charities and sports groups have already denounced support from poker machine funding, looking for financial support in other places. It seems that, rather than spending what funding they have left on lobbying, sports and community organizations should be looking for new ways to fund their programs without depending on poker machine profits.