New Zealand’s proposed Harm Reduction Bill has gained a great deal of support over the course of the past few weeks. Unfortunately, not everyone is on board with the idea of limiting the number of poker machines in each city, as sports clubs have started protesting the new bill.
According to a new report in the New Zealand Herald, Maori MP Te Ururoa Flavell – who sponsored the bill – states that organizations with a vested interest in poker machine profits are spreading rumours about the Harm Reduction Strategy. He states that clubs have claimed that sports organizations will not be able to apply for funding, but that is not the case. It seems that they are afraid that they will lose valuable profits from poker machines, and while their bottom line may be in jeopardy, there is no excuse for slander.
Part of the Harm Reduction Bill will cut out poker machine trusts, which distribute a portion of pokies profits back into the community. Instead of using this system, local community leaders will decide who gets to benefit from poker machine profits. This plan has been lauded by most politicians and community organizations, but sports clubs continue to remain unimpressed.