Editorial: Daft law for prizes has gone too far

By Kelly Makiha


Internal Affairs is to crack down on big spot prizes at expos and fishing competitions because apparently it's illegal and amounts to gambling.

There's something so horribly wrong with this.

What on earth has the world come to when the fun police come along and stop you from winning a nice big prize for doing nothing but taking part?

Surely it's only fair. There's only so many winners and talented people in this world - spot prizes give everyone a chance at sharing the glory.

Internal Affairs has come out warning organisers of expos and fishing competitions they could be breaking the Gambling Act by offering spot prizes worth more than $500.

Officials have sent letters to 15 organisations, informing them events with an entry fee cannot have door giveaways, raffles or barrel draws with prizes worth more than $500.

The crackdown comes after a complaint from a pokies trust, which argued its business was being undermined by events like A&P; shows and trade shows that give away spot prizes such as cars, boats and holidays.

Only certain licensed organisations, like the Lotteries Commission, charitable trusts and SkyCity casino, are allowed to run games of chance.

Rightly so, the news has locals a little worried.

Papamoa's ITM Kahawai World Cup, organised by Papamoa Rotary Club, offers more than $10,000 worth of prizes and organisers are calling a meeting this week to discuss the crackdown.

While they should be okay because their prizes are given to people who catch the heaviest fish, there are others up and down the country not so lucky.

What makes this crackdown even harder to swallow is the complaint has come from a pokie trust. One could argue those who peddle pokie machines aren't exactly doing the community a great service either.

Feedback on The Daily Post's  and the Bay of Plenty Times' Facebook page is unanimous this crackdown is political correctness gone mad.

Internal Affairs has a legal obligation to follow through on this complaint because, according to the law, such spot prizes are illegal.

So it's simple.

Change the law.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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