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Pop-ups step towards gambling harm minimisation

Pop-ups step towards gambling harm minimisation

Thursday 1st September 2005

“Mandatory pop-up messages on pokies are a step in the right direction but not far enough,” says John Stansfield, CEO of the Problem Gambling Foundation of New Zealand (PGF).

This comes in response to details released today by the Department of Internal Affairs about mandatory pop-up messages on pokie machines.

“It is very heartening to see that the Department has decided on 15 seconds for the pop-up messages to stay on screen,” says Mr Stansfield.

“However, their implementation is not happening fast enough. From October 1 this year all new pokie machines must show this message, but it won’t be until 1 July 2009 when every pokie machine in the country will have them. Tens of thousands of honest New Zealanders would have been needlessly hurt in that time,” he says.

“The Gambling Act makes it perfectly clear that regulations are required to take the harm out of gambling. Pop-up messages should be only one in a sweep of host responsibility measures, which means there will be more measures in place.

Pokie machines are perhaps the most dangerous product in New Zealand that hasn’t had product safety testing and is without stringent safety measures.

“This would explain why almost 90% of problem gamblers say pokies are the reason for their problem, and why New Zealanders’ lost $1.035 billion in pokie machines last year.

“More advanced host responsibility measures, such as pre-commit cards are needed to truly eliminate the harm caused by gambling.”

Free and confidential help is available nationwide from the Problem Gambling Foundation of New Zealand by phoning 0800 664 262.

ENDS

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