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NZ Not "World's Worst" For Pokies

NZ Not "World's Worst" For Pokies

The anti gaming lobby has again been accused of issuing misleading information.

In his news release of 29 September, Dave Macpherson, NZ Coalition for Gambling Reform, claims that the 24,651 pokies in New Zealand, or one machine for 158 people, makes us "among the worlds worst area for pokie machine penetration".

Garry Ward, Chairman of the Gaming Machine Association of New Zealand, says the reality is that there are 19 Countries with a higher number of machines per capita than NZ, with Japan at the top end with 24 people per machine.

"Mr Macpherson is guilty of selective use of the facts and given his cavalier approach to presenting a balanced view, all his future statements must be viewed with caution," says Garry Ward.

"We are convinced again that all of his anti gambling statements require triple checking".

"New Zealand with one machine for every 158 people is about 20th on the list of countries' machines per capita - after such countries as Japan (24 people per machine), Australia (100), Croatia (110), Italy (148), Norway (150) and Spain (157). Of course, if you consider states such as Nevada (which has 10 people per machine) the picture gets even murkier."

Ward says that all these figures illustrate, is that people enjoy playing gaming machines.

According to Teresa Tunstall of the UK's Gamcare research and treatment organisation, "Problem gamblers are very much the exception".

"Nobody is forced to play machines and in New Zealand they contribute around $200 million to the community, nearly double that of LOTTO", says Garry Ward.

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