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Final Gaming Decisions Announced

18 October 2001
Media Statement

Final Gaming Decisions Announced

The Government is determined to control the growth of gambling, minimise the harm it causes, involve New Zealanders in decision-making about gambling and ensure that gaming profits benefit the community, Internal Affairs Minister George Hawkins said today.

Mr Hawkins was announcing final decisions in the Gaming Review, which will form the basis of the Responsible Gambling Bill. He expects the Bill to be introduced to Parliament by Christmas.

“Key decisions include:
- Local Government will have the power to veto new gaming machine sites, giving local communities a voice;
- For new sites, the maximum number of gaming machines per site will be halved, to nine;
- Electronic monitoring will be introduced for non-casino gaming machines;
- Existing casinos will not be permitted to expand their operations; and
- Community groups will be recognised as parties to casino re-licensing hearings.

“New Zealanders will note that financial support for sports clubs will not be affected by the outcomes of the Gaming Review, contrary to earlier opposition claims. As I said at that time of National’s scare mongering, it is best to wait for the facts.

“This Gaming Review has been wide-ranging and thorough, and I want to thank the many members of the public and the gaming industry who have helped to make it a success,” said Mr Hawkins.

ENDS

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