Solution to gambling, poverty issues

LETTER

Why is the New Zealand government hell-bent on turning as many as possible of us into addicted gamblers?

By government I mean both parties, as Labour and National have been in power over the past 50 years and both have promoted and encouraged gambling.

Not satisfied with TAB shops and one-armed bandits in most bars, government has allowed alcohol to be sold in TABs, and allowed TABs into taverns, hotels and sports club bars, knowing full well that the more one drinks, the more one gets reckless and less responsible with the housekeeping money.

Then, even though all towns concerned voted against casinos, the government granted permission for casinos in several towns.

Not satisfied with one weekly Lotto of $1 million, government introduced lucky dips and power ball that can jackpot up to tens of millions of dollars, plus a huge Lotto prize on Wednesdays.

The tragedy is that it is the hard-working, low-paid couples whose income never seems to exceed their outgoings who are tempted and persuaded by TV advertising to buy the most tickets, believing this is the only way out of their predicament.

The insidious reason for government encouraging betting is that for every $7 million spent on gambling, it receives $1 million of GST into its coffers.

And now government has the effrontery to wonder why children go hungry and why families are homeless and live in garages.

The remedy is simple. The TAB should be banned from all bars and confined to betting shops with no alcohol sales. Lotto should be restricted to the $1 million limit once a week. All advertising of Lotto and TABs should be banned.

The drastic reduction in gambling would mean many families on low incomes would find themselves much better off to feed their children and pay the rent.

G. Gibson

Why is the New Zealand government hell-bent on turning as many as possible of us into addicted gamblers?

By government I mean both parties, as Labour and National have been in power over the past 50 years and both have promoted and encouraged gambling.

Not satisfied with TAB shops and one-armed bandits in most bars, government has allowed alcohol to be sold in TABs, and allowed TABs into taverns, hotels and sports club bars, knowing full well that the more one drinks, the more one gets reckless and less responsible with the housekeeping money.

Then, even though all towns concerned voted against casinos, the government granted permission for casinos in several towns.

Not satisfied with one weekly Lotto of $1 million, government introduced lucky dips and power ball that can jackpot up to tens of millions of dollars, plus a huge Lotto prize on Wednesdays.

The tragedy is that it is the hard-working, low-paid couples whose income never seems to exceed their outgoings who are tempted and persuaded by TV advertising to buy the most tickets, believing this is the only way out of their predicament.

The insidious reason for government encouraging betting is that for every $7 million spent on gambling, it receives $1 million of GST into its coffers.

And now government has the effrontery to wonder why children go hungry and why families are homeless and live in garages.

The remedy is simple. The TAB should be banned from all bars and confined to betting shops with no alcohol sales. Lotto should be restricted to the $1 million limit once a week. All advertising of Lotto and TABs should be banned.

The drastic reduction in gambling would mean many families on low incomes would find themselves much better off to feed their children and pay the rent.

G. Gibson

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