Bumper year for casinos - bad news for Kiwis

News that New Zealand casinos had a bumper year should serve as a warning to the Government says Labour’s Internal Affairs spokesperson Ruth Dyson.

In the past year, $509 million was lost through gambling at casinos - an eight per cent increase.

“When gambling profits grow, we can pretty fairly infer that vulnerable individuals and their families are suffering,” Ruth Dyson said.

The Government has put the rise in profits down to Sky City’s expansion and the Christchurch Casino’s reopening.

“Casinos are one of the few industries doing well at the moment, and are also one of the few industries that the Government is prepared to support and subsidise.

“What we know is people are spending money they don’t have in an effort to get ahead. If the Government’s dodgy deal with Sky City gets ticked-off there will be even more Kiwis doing that.

“It was the National government that promised a ‘brighter future’ - Kiwis shouldn’t need to turn to casinos for hope.

“There are plenty of business ventures in New Zealand that deserve government backing. Increasing the number of poky machines at a casino isn’t one of them,” Ruth Dyson said