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Gambling rehabilitation is about restoring rights

...Press Release...

February 22, 2008

Gambling rehabilitation is about restoring rights.

Restoring gamblers rights of full participation in the community should be a priority says a leading New Zealand gambling expert.

Problem Gambling Foundation CEO John Stansfield will tell an international gambling conference this morning that an essential part of the rehabilitation process is allowing people to speak up about the harm that has been done to them.

"People who have had their lives destroyed by pokie machines are the victims of a deception which is allowed by government.

"Their expectation of being protected by law has been violated and they will only become fully whole again when they are able break through the shroud of secrecy and tell their story.

"Challenging the policies of governments that allow this harm to continue is very much part of the rehabilitation process.

"This about a person becoming a passive recipient of care to an active participant in determining what happens in the environment around them and their family."

Mr Stansfield says that last year his organisation sponsored a pokie drop where pokie machines were dropped from a helicopter and smashed on a landfill.

The drop was filmed and posted on youtube and people from all over the world responded to it.

Mr Stansfield says he had an email from an overseas problem gambler who said it was so therapeutic she watched it 30 times.


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