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Tight Controls Needed at Casino


...Press Release...
May 22, 2008  
Tight Controls Needed at Casino
Allowing SkyCity casino to relax host responsibility rules for high rollers will attract more stolen money to it says the Problem Gambling Foundation.
Problem Gambling Foundation CEO, John Stansfield, says a 2008 Australian study of 512 people committed of gambling fraud showed they had stolen $2.69 billion over a ten year period.
Pokie machines were by far the most nominated mode of gambling for offenders.
"SkyCity management wants rules to be relaxed so they can become more like Star City in Sydney or Crown Casino in Melbourne," Mr Stansfield says
"Well let me tell you about the 31 year old father of two earning $44,000 per year. He stole $10.5 million from customer accounts to gamble with. At least 8.5 million of this was spent at Star Casino.
"Then there is the mother of three who burned through over half a million dollars of stolen money in a 147 hours of gambling on the pokies at Crown casino.
"They were treated like kings by the casinos.
"There are many such stories and in every case the casino ignored their gambling problem by using the excuse they were high rollers.
"You can just about guarantee that at this very moment there is a similar drama playing itself out at SkyCity."
Mr Stansfield says that it is significant that casino wants to relax the rules around the use of pokies.
"The casinos like us to think of them as a place of sophisticated entertainment with James Bond type characters playing table games.
"In fact the pokies are where they make their money and the big spenders are likely to be sitting in a dark corner huddled over a pokie machine."
Mr Stansfield says the continued fall in the SkyCity share price reflected investors increased understanding that casinos are not recession proof and the operation was operated in a toxic and unsustainable manner.
"This is a small country with a limited customer base and a tight business community.
"A corporate that accepts money stolen from other businesses and entices its customers into developing problems poisons the well of goodwill after a while.
"Trying to attract more overseas customers is a desperate attempt to avoid the consequences of their business practices and is unlikely to work."




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