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Minister opens Gambling Impact Seminar

Internal Affairs Mark Burton has released the first two reports of the New Zealand Gaming Survey.

Mr Burton released the reports when giving the opening address at the Gambling Impact Seminar being held in Taupo today.

"The two reports are the first of seven expected to be prepared over the next year, by a team led by Professor Max Abbott.

"The first is a review of international literature on gambling. The second is a longitudinal study, which reinterviewed 143 people who participated in New Zealand's first problem gambling prevalence survey in 1991.

"The follow-up study has identified a reduction in gambling related problems within the group. It is an interesting contribution to our understanding of gambling issues. However, because of the small size of the surveyed group, the findings should not be generalised and applied to all frequent and problem gamblers in the general population.

"This report must be seen in the context of a much larger body of work that is still being prepared. The full suite of reports from the New Zealand Gaming Survey will provide useful and robust information on gambling habits," Mark Burton said.

"There are some major issues presently confronting the gaming sector in New Zealand. The social impact of gambling is just one of these issues.

"The Government has referred the Gaming Law Reform Bill back to Select Committee for further consideration. This Bill addresses a number of pressing issues. However, I have arrived at a personal view that a full gaming and gambling review is required. I will be ensuring that the various groups with interests in this area are heard as part of any decision process", Mr Burton said.

Contact: Chris Roberts (press secretary) 04 471-9773 or 025 270-9012

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