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PGF disappointed in casino licence suspension

Press Release

PGF disappointed in casino licence suspension [18.10.06]

“A two-day licence suspension for failing to identify a problem gambler is a grave disappointment,” says John Stansfield, CEO of the Problem Gambling Foundation of New Zealand (PGF).

“We congratulate the Gambling Commission on issuing the first ever penalty for a casino failing to follow host responsibility procedures. However, this isn’t a penalty – it’s a slap over the hand with a wet bus ticket,” says Mr. Stansfield.

“New Zealand’s six casinos enjoy a monopoly situation and need world-leading host responsibility programs. This is clearly not the case,” he says.

“The two days loss of revenue should be compared to what the casino has made and what others have lost. A person has been exploited and jailed, her employer has been robbed, her family has been victimised, and her workmates have been traumatized. Every tax payer in this country has paid for her incarceration. The party that hasn’t paid is the casino, who gets to keep the stolen money that has caused so much grief. We also find it disappointing that the casinos of this country haven’t been instructed to take immediate remedial action to their host responsibility program,” he says.

“It is very disappointing that the Commission didn’t take the advice of the Secretary of the Department of Internal Affairs and apply the recommended seven-day licence suspension.

“The Department of Internal Affairs should be congratulated for standing up to an ominous industry. The Gambling Commission should learn a lesson from the Department and stand up to an industry that causes so much grief and devastation.”

“It would be a terrific shame if the penalty is not passed onto those who ultimately benefited – the shareholders. The casino needs to convince the New Zealand public that they have the best possible Host Responsibility programme – and they currently don’t.”

ENDS

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