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Gaming Review Discussion Document Released

Minister of Internal Affairs Hon George Hawkins today released a public discussion document on gaming.

The document is called Gaming Reform in New Zealand: Towards A New Legislative Framework.

The Public is invited to contribute views and take part in the gaming debate.

“I want the public to think about the issues covered in this discussion paper very carefully and to contribute to the debate,” George Hawkins said.

The deadline for submissions is 30 April.

The Government intends to make decisions on gaming by July 2001, and plans to introduce a bill to Parliament by the end of this year. The public will be further invited to make submissions to select committee at that time.

The intention is to enact new legislation by March 2002.

The discussion paper, which was approved by Cabinet on Monday, has been developed by the Department of Internal Affairs. It sets out all the main issues relevant to gaming reform in New Zealand.

“It is neutral and does not try to influence people’s opinions. It simply canvases the issues and asks questions to prompt people’s thinking,” George Hawkins said.

Key issues include:

* what role should gaming play in our society

* what effect internet gambling has on New Zealand

* what effect technological change has on gaming, and whether it is possible to regulate cross-border gaming.

The paper also discusses risks for users and asks questions about the management of unfair games, problem gambling, and gaming-related offending.

The regulation of gaming operators, game standards, and player access is also canvassed and the paper calls for comment on community input and involvement in these areas.

The paper considers administration gaming costs and discusses taxation issues.

A section on gaming profits and how they are distributed to communities raises a number of important issues. Finally, the paper asks how gaming might be administered in the future.

“The public is also invited to comment on the Government’s role as a provider and promoter of gaming through its ownership of the Lotteries Commission.

“I encourage people to have their say on this important topic”, George Hawkins said.

The discussion paper has been mailed to all groups known to have an interest in gaming, and is available on request to anyone who would like it.

Anyone wanting a copy of the discussion document can:

Write to: Gaming Review Team

Policy Group

Department of Internal Affairs

PO Box 805

WELLINGTON

Fax (04) 494-0567

e-mail gamingreview@dia.govt.nz

In addition to being available in booklet form, the discussion paper will also be available after 12:00 midday today on the Department of Internal Affairs website at http://www.dia.govt.nz


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