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Gaming Legislation Introduced

Internal Affairs Minister George Hawkins has today introduced legislation that will give effect to the decisions made in the government’s Gaming Review.

“The Responsible Gambling Bill sets out exactly how we will achieve the objectives of the Gaming Review - controlling the growth of gambling; minimising the harm it causes; involving New Zealanders in decision-making about gambling; and ensuring that gaming profits benefit the community.

Important provisions of the new Bill include:

- No new casinos

- Provisions for addressing problem gambling

- Consistent regulation across the gaming sector

- Stringent monitoring of casinos and gaming machines outside casinos

- Reduction of the number of gaming machines at new venues.

Mr Hawkins said gaming statistics for the last financial year (to 30 June 2001) that show an increase in spending on gambling and in the number of non-casino gaming machines, reinforce the need for gaming law reform.

“This government has recognised the need for a complete review of gaming, following years of ad hoc amendment. Gaming is a complex and changeable sector, which needs clear and equitable rules.

“This piece of legislation is the product of months of hard work and consultation. Over 1300 individuals and groups made submissions to the Gaming Review, and the public will have another opportunity to have their say during the Select Committee process,” said Mr Hawkins.

Information on the Bill and its effect is available on the Department of Internal Affairs Website: www.dia.govt.nz.

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