Why does Labour think gambling is bad?

February 5th, 2014 at 12:00 pm by David Farrar

Trevor Mallard has said:

New Zealanders are the fourth biggest gamblers per head of population in the world – a shameful figure that Peter Dunne must take action to remedy, says ’s Internal Affairs spokesperson Trevor Mallard.

Why is that shameful?

If we were the 4th biggest spenders on coffee in the world, would that be shameful?

Around 0.3% to 1.8% of the population are problem gamblers. But that doesn’t mean all is harmful, and that NZers spending a lot of money on is bad.

80% of the population do enjoy buying a lotto ticket, taking part in raffles, the odd bet at the TAB, a night out at a casino, playing some pokies at a pub, sports betting at the TAB etc, and are not problem gamblers

Does Labour now regard all the enjoyment several million NZers get from gambling as shameful?

It is quite legitimate to say we should reduce the level of gambling harm. It is paternalism to however condemn all gambling as shameful and claim that NZers overall should be spending less.

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42 Responses to “Why does Labour think gambling is bad?”

  1. nickb (3,686 comments) says:

    Plus, gambling is a tax on stupid people that funds a great deal of community and charity based initiatives.

    Maybe we could ban it?

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  2. Manolo (13,590 comments) says:

    Socialist Labour is full of despicable wowsers and control-freaks, who know what’s better for the peasant population.

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  3. Grizz (597 comments) says:

    You know, if you invested your weekly $12 power dip in a good earning fund and did so for 50 years, you would probably have saved $1,000,000.

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  4. smttc (742 comments) says:

    The sooner that stupid prick retires the better.

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  5. Pete George (23,481 comments) says:

    Labour will take a big gamble retaining Mallard as a loose cannon MP. Perhaps they should clamp down on that form of gambling.

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  6. Grizz (597 comments) says:

    Mallard gambles all the time. He mouths off lies and half truths all the time. He gambles that one day, one of his statements will be taken seriously.

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  7. Mobile Michael (446 comments) says:

    Damn. I’m kinda with Labour with this one. I hate pokie machines, they’re just a system of transferring wealth from poor communities to wealthy ones. If evrry suburban pokie bar was closed I’d be happy.

    However, casino gambling, TABs and Lotto are all fine with me as the incentive to create addiction is much less.

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  8. Kea (12,463 comments) says:

    Mobile Michael, I hate pokie machines too. The difference is I do not think my views should be imposed on others by the force of law.

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  9. anonymouse (710 comments) says:

    @Grizz, you would need to return about 10.5 per cent over inflation every year to get to a mil,
    but the point is well made

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  10. big bruv (13,734 comments) says:

    Pokies are for the terminally stupid. I simply don’t give a fuck if losers spend their money playing them. Pokies are a tax on stupid people, about the only tax I approve of.

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  11. Grizz (597 comments) says:

    @anonymouse, yes the fund would have to be exceptional, but the chances of stumbling upon it is far greater than winning lotto.

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  12. Farmerpete (47 comments) says:

    Until you have been affected by a problem gambler it is hard to comprehend the impact on family employers and others, let alone understand the strength of the addiction.
    I am in my late 60’s now but my father was a chronic gambler and an alcoholic. My mother worked 7 days a week (no DPB) to keep 6 kids. My father went through his own money and also other peoples as well and did a lot of damage. I grew up having the races blare out on a Saturday afternoon and being unable to get away from it.
    Gambling is a huge problem and this post trivialises it. I am probably right wing, but I hate legalised gambling with a passion. Lotto not so much. But now we have Sky tv pimping for the TAB and making it look like sports betting is part of the game. And we get upset because of sub continent bookies corrupting cricket! Makes you think about the Indian teams performance in the recent one day series doesn’t it.
    When society allows shady organisations like casinos into their community social problems generally follow.
    I went into Jupiters on the gold coast some 20 years ago to see what it was like. It was on a week day morning and there were all the middle aged people who couldn’t afford to be there spending their grocery money – acres of them.
    You think the casinos don’t know how addictive gambling is? Why do you think they oxygenate the atmosphere and have all the bells and lights going off? Its called reinforcement and it strengthens the addiction. Scum the lot of them!

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  13. dime (9,869 comments) says:

    Mr Dunne needs to act now!

    This is terrible. Clearly none of us can think for ourselves.

    Please tell us how to think, what to do Mr Dunne and for gods sake take away some more of our freedom. We cant be trusted with it.

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  14. Psycho Milt (2,411 comments) says:

    It’s shameful because it means we have a lot of stupid people – not sure what Mallard thinks Peter Dunne might be able to do about that though…

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  15. stigie (1,110 comments) says:

    Mallard… the gift that keeps on giving. What a tossing socialist !!~

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  16. Fentex (944 comments) says:

    Why is that shameful?

    Because the stupidity it suggests shames our schools for not teaching statistics adequately?

    Also it drops a lot of context to imagine that was said without recognizing the implication of a shameful level of problems caused by abuses of gambling which may indicate flouting of laws by establishments intended to minimise problems or poorly designed regulations and/or facilities for dealing with the incidental damage (to families and children starved by squanderers or citizens abused and stolen from by thieves).

    It may just have been a summary of a reasonable concern that something which does damage to innocents be minimised where possible.

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  17. jp_1983 (207 comments) says:

    So I guess Winston won’t get Racing Minister?

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  18. Kimble (4,434 comments) says:

    You know, if you invested your weekly $12 power dip in a good earning fund and did so for 50 years, you would probably have saved $1,000,000.

    You’d have to average a return of 10.5% over CPI and after tax. That’s a bit of a hard slog.

    If you had earned about 4% after tax and CPI, then you’d have around $90k.

    How much would you have earned in winnings from your lucky dip?

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  19. Kimble (4,434 comments) says:

    It’s shameful because it means we have a lot of stupid people –

    We already knew that.

    Auckland Gets More Religious

    Labour Jumps the Shark

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  20. Paulus (2,608 comments) says:

    Show us the figure comparison Quackers Mallard. Stop making up please.

    So quiet though t he has been culled – not yet ?

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  21. georgebolwing (796 comments) says:

    Kimble: on average, buying a $12 power dip will not return you $12: Lotto and all other state-run lotteries do not pay “fair” odds: the pay-out dividend by the stake is much less than the probability of winning.

    Why this makes sense economically is that for your $12 you are getting two things: a stake in a wager and the pleasure of the possibility of winning. Many of us buy a Lotto ticket and then practice the resignation speech we would like to be able to give if our financial future where secure.

    On the wider issue, the state has no role in protecting adults from themselves. Drugs, sex, gambling, food, alcohol, books, ideas are all things that can do you harm, and give you great pleasure, often at the same time. People should be free to use them they see fit.

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  22. flipper (3,991 comments) says:

    If Mallard is not talking like a winged duck, why has labour selected a TAB bookie (odds maker) as its candidate in Wairarapa ??????

    Perhaps he thinks he will need a knew job ?????

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  23. Kimble (4,434 comments) says:

    …buying a $12 power dip will not return you $12…

    I know. But it will mitigate the cost somewhat. The real cost of the lucky dip is not $12, but $12 minus the probability weighted payout of the ticket. If they payout 50% of the total take, then the real price is $6, right?

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  24. georgebolwing (796 comments) says:

    Kimble; about that. Lotto’s annual report states that they pay out about 55c in prizes for every dollar wagered over all their games.

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  25. Simon (699 comments) says:

    $60 a week for every gambler in the family.

    Called Universal Kiwi Gambler rebate to promote a more fair society.

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  26. flipper (3,991 comments) says:

    georgebolwing (459 comments) says:

    February 5th, 2014 at 1:17 pm

    Kimble; about that. Lotto’s annual report states

    *****

    So your point is ???????

    In case you don’t know…GST @ 15%, admin and comm costs, and the balance distributed to perceived public good activities.

    Nothing wrong with that.

    PERIOD!

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  27. Whaleoil (767 comments) says:

    No more raffles for Labour then.

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  28. georgebolwing (796 comments) says:

    Flipper; calm down. The point is that at 12:10 pm, Grizz said: “You know, if you invested your weekly $12 power dip in a good earning fund and did so for 50 years, you would probably have saved $1,000,000.” A few people have been posting that this requires a very high rate of interest, and Kimble suggested that the calculation should add back the winnings that would undoubtedly accrue over 50 years. The 55 cents in the dollar is simply a way of calculating that.

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  29. rangitoto (241 comments) says:

    If the greebore coalition was in power you wouldn’t collect your mill. You would be identified as a rich prick and your money and assets confiscated. They would then send you to a re-education camp to learn anti oil drilling chants.

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  30. igm (1,413 comments) says:

    Coming from a government that included Dunne and Mallard, who against all recommendations, let in pokies, lotto, and scratchies, I find it a damn hypocritical claim. They were warned of the impending problems they were bestowing upon society, but along with Goff, King, and infamous Palmer, went ahead and opened the door. Mallard wants to think before he opens his mouth, trying to justify his red ribbon seat; it is going to Little, that’s it Trev, you are a dead duck!

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  31. Longknives (4,691 comments) says:

    Labour and the Greens will get my Turf Digest only when they pry it out of my cold,dead hands…

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  32. Scott (1,780 comments) says:

    For probably the first time in my life I agree with Trevor Mallard. Gambling is a huge problem and we spent far too much on it and there are so many problem gamblers that it is not funny.
    The other thing is that DPF confuses the Nanny State with paternalism. The Nanny State is to do with an interfering approach on tiny details such as the size of our showerheads. It probably has also to do with the feminist desire to control every little thing, which is not what government should do.

    However government should be involved in the big issues. The big moral issues such as gambling and drugs are quite properly the province of government. If it is paternalism so be it. We need people with a fatherly approach in government rather than the devil may care approach that dominates the liberal elites of this country. Governments should be concerned about problem gambling. They should be concerned about the problems related with drugs. This is an entirely conservative notion. It is completely separate from the Nanny State. A good government will make big rules about whether to legalise drugs or not, whether to legalise gambling or not.

    Governments have always done this and it is quite a proper thing for them to do. It is not the Nanny State at all. DPF is quite confused in my opinion.

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  33. Tom Jackson (2,553 comments) says:

    Until you have been affected by a problem gambler it is hard to comprehend the impact on family employers and others, let alone understand the strength of the addiction.

    Yep.

    Dostoevsky has a great novel about it.

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  34. Tom Jackson (2,553 comments) says:

    On the wider issue, the state has no role in protecting adults from themselves. Drugs, sex, gambling, food, alcohol, books, ideas are all things that can do you harm, and give you great pleasure, often at the same time. People should be free to use them they see fit.

    The externalities involved in most of these activities can be very severe and that warrants state intervention. It’s also worth restricting physically addictive substances, for the simple reason that people who have not been addicted before find it very difficult to make a rational judgement about how they will be affected, and addicts have their own agency subverted by the addiction.

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  35. Albert_Ross (276 comments) says:

    Scott, being “concerned about problem gambling” is not at all the same thing as calling all gambling a problem. On the contrary, calling all gambling a problem trivialises real problem gambling and risks wasting resources on something that is not a problem, resources that could be better targeted on something that is.

    Anyway, what exactly is “feminist” about a “desire to control every little thing”?

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  36. publicwatchdog (2,516 comments) says:

    Obviously the New Zealand Auditor-General Lyn Provost doesn’t think gambling is bad.

    She’s a shareholder in Sky City!

    http://www.investigatemagazine.co.nz/Investigate/4817/auditor-general-asked-about-her-sky-city-conflict-of-interest/

    Penny Bright

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  37. georgebolwing (796 comments) says:

    The Australian Productivity Commission estimated that in 2008-09, the benefits from tax revenue and the enjoyment of gambling for recreational gamblers ranged between $A12.1 and $A15.8 billion, the costs to problem gamblers ranged between $A4.7 and $A8.4 billion and the overall net benefits ranged between $A3.7 and $A11.1 billion.

    If Labour has worked out a way to redcue the costs, while keeping the benfits, then lets hear it.

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  38. thor42 (971 comments) says:

    Thirty-odd percent of people polled support Labour.
    THAT is shameful.

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  39. edhunter (538 comments) says:

    Smoking Banned
    Alcohol Banned
    Gambling Banned
    Earning more than 100k Banned
    Owning more than one property Banned
    Mining Banned
    Cow Farts Banned
    White Man Banned
    Thinking BANNED

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  40. Tauhei Notts (1,693 comments) says:

    My favourite memory of gambling related activities was that famous comment by the late Trevor Di Cleene.
    Trevor reckoned that the churches should be subject to gambling duty as they are always gambling on the hereafter.
    And if I do another ton on another over rated three year old I will agree that gambling should be banned.
    All Decked Out, Angelina Jolie, Lifeline Express, Kawi, Cauthen and Chambord. What a bunch of paper tigers.

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  41. RF (1,381 comments) says:

    The duck quakes from the back benches. Who cares what he thinks !!!!

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  42. ChardonnayGuy (1,199 comments) says:

    Er, because problem gambling is recognised as a DSM IV psychopathology by the American Psychiatric Association and there have been numerous clinical studies on the damage that it causes?

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