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Pop-Up Messages Could Have Saved Child's Distress

Pop-Up Messages Could Have Saved Child's Distress

"Pop-up messages on pokie machines could have saved a child from being left in a car in a distressed state," says John Stansfield, CEO of the Problem Gambling Foundation of New Zealand (PGF).

People playing the pokies can enter a trance-like state, and forget their responsibilities, such as children and work commitments.

Pop-up messages on pokies would frequently interrupt play, which would assist in breaking this mental state.

"If pop-up messages were in place, this young mother may have been able to save her child from this distress," says Mr Stansfield.

"There have been similar cases when parents have left children in a car unsupervised, to gamble. One that springs to mind is last October when a six-year-old left in the Christchurch Casino carpark while her mother and grandmother gambled," says Mr Stansfield.

At a Regulations Review Committee on Wednesday some gambling industry members attempted to overturn Regulation 8, which requires all pokie machines to interrupt play with pop-up messages. It will be back before the Regulations Review Committee on Wednesday 16th March.

"It is very disappointing to see some in the gambling industry disputing the attributes of this system."

"It is a common myth that only problem gamblers suffer from the negative impacts of gambling, when latest research indicates that at least five others are affected by one person's gambling."

"Communities expect that the welfare of a child will be provided for by their family. When problem gambling is thrown into the equation, these expectations are often not met. Children suffer from neglect, a lack of basic provisions such as food, clothing and shelter, and occasionally victims of abuse," says Mr Stansfield.

"The effects of problem gambling on children are a grave concern, and steps need to be taken to stop it."

"I am no more anti-gambling than the guy who puts seatbelts in your car is anti-driving. We just want to make these things safe."

"Communities need to know how to protect themselves from the negative impact gambling can have, all they have to do is contact us on 0800 664 262."


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