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Pokie Safety Expert in New Zealand

February 20, 2008

Pokie Safety Expert in New Zealand

The "mother" of the pokie machine seatbelt is in New Zealand for a gambling conference.

Tracy Schrans, president of Focal Research Consultants in Canada, has played a leading role in developing player tracking technology which can significantly reduce problem gambling.

The technology is referred to as the pokie seatbelt by reputable problem gambling treatment providers who are excited by the possibilities it offers to reduce gambling harm.

Ms Schrans says the technology has been introduced in casinos in Regina and Moosejaw in Saskatchewan with very good results and is about to be released on pokies in Nova Scotia.

"Results so far show gamblers are playing for longer but spending a lot less money," she says.

"This means consumers get more pleasure from playing with less risk of harm."

Problem Gambling Foundation CEO John Stansfield wants the technology brought into New Zealand.

"It's a simple matter of consumer safety and protection," he says.

"We have a major problem with gambling harm caused through an unsafe product and there is now the technology to protect people. It's not expensive and it works. What possible reason could there be to not make it compulsory?"

While in New Zealand Ms Schrans will be a keynote speaker at the Joint AUT University and Problem Gambling Foundation international gambling conference to be held from Thursday 21 February to Saturday 23 February at Auckland's Crowne Plaza Hotel.


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