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By ABBIE NAPIER
Game on: Societies part of problem.
PROBLEM GAMBLING services
say abolishing gaming machine
societies could go a long way
towards reducing corruption in
the gaming industry and see more
money donated to community
An amendment to the Gambling
Act going before Parliament aims
to remove the 50 gaming societies
in New Zealand.
Under the 2003 Gambling Act,
societies must donate a minimum
37.12 per cent of profits back to
the community. A society can use
up to 16 per cent of profits to fund
Some campaigners hoped the
abolishment of those societies
would see a drastic reduction in
industry costs, meaning more
money donated to the community.
In the past three years a num-
ber of societies have been under
investigation by the Department
of Internal Affairs for fraud,
embezzlement and theft.
Problem Gambling Foundation
health manager Tony Milne said
the industry was not transparent.
At the moment the trusts dis-
tributing funds are having prob-
lems with corruption, he said.
Every week there s a problem
with societies breaking the rules.
Earlier this month an Auckland
gaming society trustee was con-
victed of theft to the tune of
$364,000 -- money which should
have gone to the community.
A Gambling Commission report
noted many societies treated the
16 per cent limit as a target, with
many perceiving the shortfall to
be rightfully theirs.
A Gambling Commission audit
showed 10 societies nationwide
had exceeded their costs limit by
First Sovereign Trust and Pub
Charity Incorporated donate back
to Canterbury and have been
investigated for financial incon-
Get rid of pokie machines,
they're a blight on society
CONTINUED Page 5
I think we should get rid of all
pokie machines in our
They are a blight on our society.
We all know individuals who
have succumbed to pokie
addiction and ruined the lives of
family members. Peter Banens
Cost to community
I am writing on behalf of the
Salvation Army Oasis Centre for
Problem Gambling to express our
support of the article Pokie
Machines: The Crack Cocaine of
Gambling featured in The
Christchurch Mail last Thursday.
Almost weekly the Oasis Centre
has new clients coming through
the door seeking help for problems
caused by gambling, in particular
pokie machine addiction -- be it
their own addiction or problems
caused by someone else s
Complications arising from this
addiction have included crime,
family violence and relationship
breakdowns -- the list goes on.
Sadly, these have been
compounded with issues relating
from the earthquakes of
heightened anxiety, depression,
job loss, living in the red zone,
landlords upping rents, shortage
of suitable rental properties etc,
and some people have even
gambled money given for
As Mr Milne said "the impact of
gambling on the community far
outweighs any gains for
community groups from the
We join in his concern for the
effects of gambling on individuals,
families and our communities.
The Salvation Army Oasis Centre
for Problem Gambling
Our trust worked
member of a three-person trust
which obtained two poker
machines for the benefit of St
Joseph s School, Lyttelton.
We had to guarantee a large
sum of money which is one of the
reasons the school board itself did
not wish to get involved in the
The pokies were installed in the
Empire Hotel and were a success.
Thanks to the generosity of Mr
and Mrs Whelan who owned the
pub, charging only $10 site rent
per week, all other profits went to
the trust and then to the school.
The trust members did not charge
anything for time worked,
The trust, from memory, made
about $200 per week and paid for
a new classroom and a library.
St Joseph s School was at that
The Bishop opened the new
Whether he knew that poker
machines had paid for them I do
When the Empire Pub changed
hands the trust was wound up.
It had fulfilled its purpose
This is an example of pokies
doing good for a community.
Sadly, St Joseph s School closed
in recent years because of a
St Joseph s Church, along with
Holy Trinity across the road, was
a victim of the earthquakes.
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