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Parents and Pokies

Parents and Pokies

27th February 2006

Clubs New Zealand has been working in conjunction with the Problem Gambling Foundation over the last 12 months to ensure that the staff in over 250 of our clubs with gaming machines are trained to recognise and assist the 2% of gamblers who develop gambling problems.

While it is appropriate that the worst cases, such as parents abandoning children while gaming are reported by the media we need to remember that the very significant majority of gamblers using pokie machines do so in a responsible way.

“Our relationship with the PGF has shown us that they are capable of doing so much more to assist in a positive way to educate people and help with resolving the issues that it is disappointing to see them blindly bashing all Gaming Machine Operators and then highlighting the worst cases without putting them into the proper context ” says Clubs New Zealand Chief Executive, Jonathan Gee.

“ In my limited time in this industry I have seen a lot of effort and expense being put in by the operators in an endeavour to control the minority of problem gamblers while still retaining an enjoyable entertainment option for those who don’t have a problem and there is more to come as operators face further upgrades to machines in the next two years and stricter licensing conditions imposed by local authorities”

We need to also give some recognition to the 37% of gaming funds that are returned into the community each year, without it there would be a lot of sporting events that did not happen or had far lower participation.

Gambling is not all good but its not all bad either and the sooner that we have balanced debate without this sort of extremist distortion of the facts the sooner the industry will work together to deal with the real issues.

ENDS

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