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Flavell's gambling bill becomes law

Thursday 5 Sep 2013 5:14 a.m.

Mr Flavell is vowing to continue his campaign against pokies

Mr Flavell is vowing to continue his campaign against pokies

Parliament has passed a Maori Party bill which changes some of the rules around pokie machines.

Te Ururoa Flavell's Gambling Harm Minimisation Bill originally carried strong measures but the Government wouldn't support them.

He had the choice of seeing it defeated, or allowing a select committee to gut it.

Mr Flavell decided to keep it alive and last night it passed its third reading by 63 votes to 55.

Opposition parties opposed it, blaming the government for its meagre measures.

The bill slightly increases the amount of pokie machine returns that go back to communities, allows regulations to be made to help reduce the harm caused by gambling and gives councils stronger authority to move gambling venues out of poor areas.

Mr Flavell is vowing to continue his campaign.

"Pokie machines are six times more likely to be in poor areas than they are in wealthy ones and about a third of moderate risk gamblers are Maori," he said.

"In effect we are talking about a system which transfers wealth from poor areas to wealthy ones."

NZN

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