The Government has done the right thing today in providing for an early review of the Problem Gambling Levy says Chief Executive of Clubs NZ, Jonathan Gee.
We were very pleased when the Gambling Commission supported our case to consider a separate levy for clubs and a little disappointed when it looked like it would take 3 years before any action would be taken.
Today’s announcement shows that the government has listened and recognised the value that Clubs provide in our communities and that we are different. In particular we would like to recognise the work undertaken by Sue Bradford and Dr Cullen to reach this position.
There are some real injustices in a system where Clubs pay more than twice the levy rate of casinos and an equal rate to commercial non-casino premises when we have already provided evidence that shows that the levy payable by clubs should be around 20% of the commercial non-casino venues.
We don’t have a researched comparison to casinos but we cannot accept that anybody in NZ can earnestly believe that gambling in clubs is more than twice as harmful as that carried out in casinos.
Since the introduction of the Gambling Act we have worked closely with the Problem Gambling Foundation to ensure that our member clubs exceed the minimum harm prevention requirements and achieve the results for our members that were recognised in Sue Bradford’s speech today.
We are looking forward to the discussions with the Minister and officials that will enable a levy that is a fair and proper reflection of the industry to be put in place in18 months time.