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New statistics reveal positive outcomes

27 January 2005

New statistics reveal positive outcomes of changes to gambling legislation

"Despite the dire predictions of some sections of the gambling community the latest statistics on gaming machines compiled by the Department of Internal Affairs shows there has been no discernible reduction in the amount of money available to community activities," said Internal Affairs Minister George Hawkins today.

"The reverse appears to be true. While the number of machines in use (since the Gambling Act 2003 was passed) has gone down, and the number of venues has also diminished, the amount of money available for distribution to authorised community purposes has actually increased by 10%.

"The Department conjectures this may be due to gaming machine operators aggregating their investments into fewer, but larger, sites.

"Gaming machines are a significant source of financial support for a wide range of community social, cultural and sporting activities which we want to preserve.

"It is important however that the gaming machine sector is well controlled and kept free of the sorts of criminal activity commonly associated with gambling in other parts of the world.

"The statistics confirm a desirable level of control is being achieved with the added benefit of greater returns to community projects and to the taxpayer through gaming machine levies and GST," concluded the Minister.

ENDS

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