By a vote of 10-2, Hamilton City Council today, supported the thrust of the 'Flavell' Bill to remove pokie trusts from the role of distributing pokie machine profits, and place that job in the hands of a 'local, publicly-accountable, democratically selected entity'.Only the city's Mayor, and a Councillor with previous close links with the Waikato Rugby Union, opposed the move.
|Mayor Hardaker supported pokie trusts|
At a meeting of the Council's Policy and Strategy Committee, discussion took place around the "rorts and ripoffs" associated with the pokie industry, with one Councillor describing his experience of dealing with pokie trust funding processes as being "close to corrupt."
Evidence was given that Netball, with more players than Rugby Union, received only one quarter the amount of grants from pokie trusts, while sports and racing recieved 53% of all grants in the last year - greatly exceeding community and emergency services, or any other sector.
Councillors were not convinced by industry 'scare tactics' suggesting that community and sporting groups would get less support under the Bill, and agreed that the current 40% return rate was pathetic, and "not balanced."