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Money laundering and problem gambling

Thursday 3rd March 2004

Money laundering and problem gambling

Gambling-related crime is wreaking havoc on our society,” says Mark Vivian, South Island Regional Manager for the Problem Gambling Foundation of New Zealand (PGF).

This comes after reports of a Nelson woman appearing in the Nelson District Court for money laundering through pokie machines.

“Gambling and crime are linked, and this link is becoming increasingly evident in our society. Each year over 5000 New Zealanders are convicted of gambling-related crimes,” says Mr Vivian.

“We are working with offenders and the Department of Corrections, as it is a deeply hidden problem," says John Stansfield, CEO of the Problem Gambling Foundation of New Zealand.

“Communities can expect more of these gambling-related crimes until problem gambling is recognised by the community as a problem, rather than keeping it hidden,” says John Stansfield.

"Problem gambling affects everyone who comes into contact with that person. It wreaks devastation not only for the gambler and their loved ones, but also their employers, work colleagues and the wider community,” says Mr Vivian. Local psychologist Dr Philip Townshend who specialises in helping people with gambling difficulties has noted an increase in gambling related crime in the past year. "It should be a major worry for the gambling industry, more and more the links between gambling and crime are becoming obvious", he says.

ENDS


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