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Global experts gather for gambling conference

Leading international and local experts on gambling are to attend a three-day conference at AUT University next week (subs: 13-15th Sept) to discuss the impacts of this growth industry.

The participants will examine the impacts of gambling on individuals, communities and societies says Professor Max Abbott, a keynote speaker and AUT University's Pro Vice-Chancellor, and Dean of the Faculty of Health and Environmental Sciences.

"A major purpose is to bring key stakeholders together and strengthen measures that will reduce gambling-related harms – to make a healthy difference."

Professor Abbott says the conference will provide an opportunity for participants from throughout the world to discuss recent developments and innovations in gambling policy, practice and research.

The conference is hosted by the Gambling Research Centre, National Institute for Public Health and Mental Health Research, Auckland University of Technology and the Problem Gambling Foundation of New Zealand.

Discussions will range from problem gambling in the Asian community to community responsibility of addiction and gambling-related harm.

Leading international speaker Professor David Hodgins will describe his innovative treatment for problem gamblers, which involves self-help and telephone support. The United States Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration have recognised it as promising breakthrough for problem gamblers.

Two studies released last month – the 2002-03 New Zealand Health Survey and the Problem Gambling report – show poorer communities, Maori, and Pacific Island people, were hardest hit.

About 50,000 New Zealanders - 1.2 per cent of the population – have a gambling problem and only one in eight is making use of Government-funded services set up to help them.

International Conference on Gambling
'Gambling and its Impacts: Policy, Practice and Research Perspectives'
Keynote speaker from AUT: Professor Max Abbott, Pro Vice-Chancellor and Dean of the Faculty of Health and Environmental Sciences

Other AUT speakers include: Dr Maria Bellringer, AUT Senior Research Fellow, National Institute for Public Health and Mental Health Research, Public Health & Psychosocial Studies.
Rebecca Coombes and Lana Perese.


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