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Gaming Review acknowledges value of racing

18 October 2001 Media Statement
Gaming Review acknowledges value of racing

Minister for Racing Annette King says the Gaming Review recognises the value of racing as a business as well as being a community activity.

Internal Affairs Minister George Hawkins today announced Government decisions in the Gaming Review, and Mrs King said she was particularly pleased with the outcomes for racing.

“The TAB retains its monopoly on race and sports betting and will be the only New Zealand gaming provider allowed to operate over the Internet. Subject to the agreement of casino managements, the TAB will also be able to establish agencies in casinos, while racing clubs and the TAB will continue to be allowed to operate gaming machines under licence.”

Mrs King said gambling was “a recreational activity that should be primarily used to raise funds for the community. Racing is our oldest gaming industry and is a significant part of our culture. New Zealand was the first country in the world to establish the TAB, which is internationally acknowledged for its integrity.

“Racing is important to New Zealand with exports of around $155 million per year and thousands of people employed. While racing’s share of the gaming market has declined, the TAB now has technology offering secure, responsible Internet betting services. The Responsible Gambling Bill will allow the industry to utilise this technology to benefit the industry and the wider community.”

Other decisions from the Gaming Review are:
- No more casinos will be licensed, and existing casinos cannot expand;
- There will be limits on the number of gaming machines on any site --- nine for new sites but existing sites will retain their current 18-machine limit;
- Gaming machines will be electronically monitored;
- Communities can veto new gaming sites; and
- There will be a public health approach to problem gambling issues.

“We need to minimise harm caused by problem gambling, including controlling the growth of gambling. We don’t need more gaming operators. We just need to manage what we have in a responsible way,” Mrs King said.

ENDS

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