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Gambling Watch Claims Untrue & Misleading

22 February 2005

Gambling Watch Claims Untrue & Misleading

Claims made today by the anti-gambling lobby group Gambling Watch about interactive gaming are untrue and misleading, says New Zealand Lotteries Commission (NZ Lotteries) Chief Executive Trevor Hall.

"We welcome responsible debate about changes to our business, but we take strong exception to suggestions that we would behave illegally or irresponsibly.

"Mr McPherson should read the Gambling Act before he leaps into print with the outrageous claims he has made today.

"Any interactive offering we eventually make will be lawful, responsible, strictly controlled and carefully monitored," said Mr Hall.

Mr Hall said that under the Gambling Act 2003 NZ Lotteries was legally able to offer remote interactive gambling, but stressed it would not be doing so before a new gaming system was introduced later in 2006.

"Our new system will replace our centralised gaming system. A new gaming system is required to ensure NZ Lotteries products can continue to be sold through our retail network after the conversion of the organisation's telecommunications data links to the Internet Protocol (IP) standard.

"An added feature will be the ability to offer games remotely, but this will only be done after strict guidelines have been developed and agreed to with government regulators.

"Some of the measures we will be working through with the regulators will be safe-guards such as compulsory player registration, strictly enforced age restrictions and limits on the number and/or value of any online purchase by a registered player in any given time."

Mr Hall said based on overseas experience, NZ Lotteries expected conventional 'over the counter' purchases through its retail network would continue to account for the bulk of ticket sales.

ENDS


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