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Standards welcomed but pop-ups yet to be proven

Standards welcomed but pop-ups yet to be proven to impact on problem gambling

The announcement of the standards for implementation of pop-ups by the Department of Internal Affairs is welcome news the Chief Executive of the Charity Gaming Association, Francis Wevers, said today.

“CGA members and game manufacturers have been waiting for some time to find out the details of the standards which are required by the regulations.

“Now that we have them the industry can get on with the job of designing pop-ups which meet the standards.

‘It’s unfortunate there’s no substantive evidence from anywhere in the world which shows t pop-ups actually deliver any meaningful changes in behaviour for problem gamblers, who they’re aimed at. Therefore it becomes a very expensive experiment which, in the end, New Zealand community groups will end up having to pay for.

“The CGA understands the theory behind the decision to implement pop-ups – interrupting play seems on the face of it to be a good thing. However, everything we’ve heard so far from overseas suggests the impact is on recreational gamblers rather than problem gamblers. The consequence of that may well be less money available to pay out in grants to worthy causes.

“It will be quite some time before researchers can track what happens because there is no expectation on the part of the industry that pop-ups will be available for at least 6 months - and it may well be another year later before they are seen in venues.

“CGA members are committed to do whatever they can reasonably do to provide safe gambling. So let’s hope the New Zealand experience with pop-ups is better than the jurisdictions overseas which have already tried them,” concluded Mr Wevers.

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