Submission to Transport and Infrastructure Committee on Racing Industry Bill
The Salvation Army is opposed to the passing of this Bill into law.
Posted February 11, 2020
- The Salvation Army is opposed to the passing of this Bill into law. We are deeply opposed to any expansion of gambling in our country. The policy focus should be on controlling the growth of gambling and preventing and minimising the harm that already exists from gambling addiction, not seeking new opportunities to gamble with the associated risks to people and whanau. This Bill increases the risk of gambling harm by legislating a monopoly body (TAB NZ) to have the power to develop new betting products for the racing industry, as well as for other sports. The Salvation Army cannot support this expansion of the gambling industry.
- Therefore, the focus of this submission will be on the gambling harm and harm minimisation aspects of this Bill that are directly relevant to our Oasis Preventing and Minimising Gambling Harm (Oasis) service and the clients that use Oasis and other social and Christian social services we provide in local communities.
- The Salvation Army also wants to acknowledge our disappointment with the extremely rushed process with the legislative process around these racing industry reforms. In our submission to the Racing Reform Bill in 2019, we noted publicly how that Racing Reform Bill was posted on the Parliament website on Thursday 30 May 2019, with submissions expected by Tuesday 4 June 2019, the day after a public holiday.1 That allowed barely two working days to formulate a written response and prepare for oral submissions for a crucial Bill! Is that really the kind of open democratic system that we want for our nation? How do these kinds of rushed processes encourage good engagement in civil society by the NGO and community sector? We appreciate that the process for this Racing Industry Bill has been more in line with normal Parliamentary processes.