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Call For Gaming Machine Moratorium ‘Unfocused’

The Compulsive Gambling Society’s call for a moratorium on gaming machines seemed to be an unfocused response to a much more complex issue, Pub Charity Inc Chief Executive Ian Bray said today.

“The Society knows full well that research commissioned by them shows that individuals identified as having a gambling problem associated with gaming machines do not have a problem for long and have effectively moved on without outside help or inter
vention in a short space of time,” said Mr Bray.

“It would be far better if the Society readied itself to fully participate in the wide-ranging review of gambling announced by the Minister of Internal Affairs, Mark Burton, following the release of this year’s Budget.

“It is within the context of this review that the full debate about the regulation and impact of gambling on communities will be held without the singling out of one form of gaming.

“There are a number of serious issues to be resolved within the gaming industry including the impact of the Internet and Internet gambling and, for example, the ability of Lotto, TAB and the like being able to advertise when gaming machine operators can not.

“All reflect the inconsistency across the across different spheres of the gaming sector within NZ.”

Mr Bray said that Pub Charity, through its trustees, returned over $17.3 million to local communities in 1999. In 11 years of operation Pub Charity has paid over $88 million to government in GST and gaming duty.

“These figures exclude the significant sums of money contributed to government by trustees as part of a voluntary problem gambling levy,” he said.

“Pub Charity welcomes the review as announced by Minister Burton and intends to become fully involved in it. We suggest the Compulsive Gambling Society does the same.”

Ends

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