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Gaming Decisions Announced

28 JULY 2001 – Media Statement

Gaming Decisions Announced

The Minister of Internal Affairs, George Hawkins, has announced today that the Government will not license any more casinos in New Zealand. Mr Hawkins was speaking at the Problem Gambling Foundation conference in Auckland.

"There will be no more casinos beyond the sites that are already licensed, in Auckland, Hamilton, Christchurch, Dunedin and Queenstown" said Mr Hawkins.

Mr Hawkins also told delegates that the Government has decided to expand its role in the prevention and treatment of problem gambling.

"Problem gambling is a serious health issue, and unlike the last government, we want to play an active part in addressing it. That is why we have decided that prevention and treatment services should be co ordinated by the Ministry of Health" said Mr Hawkins.

The Government has also decided to step up the auditing of gaming machines that are located outside of casinos.

"More regular auditing means that the Department of Internal Affairs can ensure that machines are being properly run and funds are correctly used" said Mr Hawkins.

The decisions announced by Mr Hawkins have been made "in principle" as part of the Government's Gaming Review, which attracted more than 1300 public submissions.

Mr Hawkins said the decision-making process is continuing and he expects to make further announcements in the near future.


ENDS

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