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Clubs To Beat Problem Gambling

Media Release From The New Zealand Chartered Clubs (Incorporated)

All Chartered Clubs in New Zealand will shortly have a responsible gambling programme in place, to reduce the incidence of problem gambling. The Annual General Meeting of New Zealand Chartered Clubs in Rotorua at the weekend, voted overwhemingly to introduce the ClubSafe responsible gambling programme into all member clubs.

Chief Executive of New Zealand Chartered Clubs, Roger Parton said that the vote was an acknowledgement by chartered clubs that problem gambling was an issue and that chartered clubs intended to deal with the matter.

“Our clubs are an integral part of the community and as such, we cannot stand by and ignore community concerns on this issue. We have been able through our membership of Clubs Australia and New Zealand, to source a very good responsible gambling program called ClubSafe, developed by Clubs New South Wales for use in their clubs” he said. “While some adaptation will be required for New Zealand conditions, we are very confident that chartered clubs will have a first class programme to protect and assist their patrons”.

Mr Parton said that the vote was a major achievement for chartered clubs as they were the only operators of gaming machines outside casinos to tackle the issue and introduce measures to help those with gambling problems.

“The programme is sophisticated and provides management and staff with training, policies and procedures which will address the problem,” said Mr Parton. “It includes such matters as consumer information, signage, ability for members to self bar themselves from the gaming area, and providing an environment which fosters responsible gambling.”

The programme has been designed and tested in New South Wales clubs in conjunction with the Australian Institute of Gambling Research. It is now installed and operating in nearly 500 NSW clubs.

Mr Parton said that many New Zealanders were familiar with the clubs in NSW and he was confident that the programme would work very well in chartered clubs in this country. In addition, the Compulsive Gambling Society has been consulted to ensure that any programme introduced into chartered clubs would be effective and worthwhile.

Mr Parton said that work would now start on adapting the programme to the New Zealand gambling requirements and that training of staff would commence within a couple of months.

“There is now a great deal of work to be done but we have the overwhelming support of our member clubs and I know that the chartered club spirit will ensure that we achieve our objectives”, he said.

ENDS

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