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International gambling conference

Media Release

January 31, 2008

Over 200 people will attend an international gambling conference at Auckland's Crowne Plaza from 21 - 23 February.

The second joint AUT University - Problem Gambling Foundation gambling conference Looking Forward: New Directions in Research and Minimising Gambling Harm will feature leading international academics and researchers. They will discuss the latest developments and research in minimising and treating gambling harm.

Delegates from around New Zealand will be joined by others involved in dealing with gambling harm from Australia, Canada, England, Norway, Finland, Denmark, Sweden and the USA.

Keynote speakers will include:

* Professor Max Abbott, AUT. Working from the premise that to move forward, it is helpful to know where we have come from, he will review policy and practice over the last 30 years. * Professor Robert Ladouceur, Laval University, Quebec City in Canada will look at the main characteristics of pathological gambling and review different models of prevention. * Tracy Schrans, President of Focal Research Consultants in Novia Scotia, Canada will look at recent projects that have used player tracking data to develop predictive models identifying gambling risk based on player behaviour. * John Stansfield, CEO, the Problem Gambling Foundation will focus on the rationale and challenges of the integrated model delivery of public health service delivery from a problem gambling agency.

Other local speakers are:
* Professor Philippa Howden-Chapman, Deputy Head, Department of Public Health at the Wellington School of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Otago. * Barbara Phillips, Manager, National Problem Gambling team at the Ministry Health. * Mike Hill, Director of Gambling Compliance at the Department of Internal Affairs. * John Markland, Manager of Gambling, Racing and Censorship Policy at the Department of Internal Affairs.

Concurrent paper presentations and workshops will run throughout the conference with practitioners, researchers, regulators and gambling industry representatives from several countries sharing their experiences and ideas on minimising gambling harm.

John Stansfield from the Problem Gambling Foundation says that problem gambling is increasingly recognised as a major social and economic problem in many developed countries.

The conference aims to forge international links which would help countries work more collaboratively to mitigate gambling harm.

"We need to ensure that New Zealand remains at the cutting edge of developing and delivering strategies to protect vulnerable communities and families from gambling harm," he says.


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