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Free lesson for United Future on internet gambling

A free lesson for United Future on internet gambling

National Party Internal Affairs spokeswoman Judith Collins is making an eleventh hour bid to convince United Future against supporting the controversial Gambling Bill.

"United Future supporters are justifiably outraged that the so-called pro-family party is backing state involvement in the two most addictive forms of gambling," says Ms Collins.

She's commenting on changes to the Gambling Bill that pave the way for the state-run Lotteries Commission to get involved in the running of pokie machines and internet gambling.

"The NZ Council of Christian Social Services was spot on when it said this week 'United Future and Labour are trying to sneak through irresponsible changes ... that will tear families apart.'

"Their concerns are backed up by findings from an Australian inquiry that shows internet gambling 'exacerbated problem gambling', was accessible to minors and is a 'particularly troublesome medium'.

"The Productivity Commission report says internet services are open 24 hours a day allowing around the clock betting, there is no scarcity of machines, there is a big variety of games, while inducements to gamble such as advertising are much harder to control," Ms Collins says.

"It says 'for people with past problems on physical forms of gambling, the ready availability of internet gambling may also increase the risk of relapse' and 'a person can be 'disorderly drunk or on drugs and play at the home casino'.

"The report goes on to say 'it is also likely that online gambling will establish a new market, just as gaming machines introduced many women to gambling'.

"It raises the alarm on the potential for children to access the services using an adult's credit card and it says young people are particularly vulnerable given the high rates of video game addiction," says Ms Collins.

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