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Australia: Labor's gambling claims 'nonsense'

20 May 2007

AUSTRALIA -- As reported by The Age: "Academics have slammed claims by the State Government it has halved problem gambling and have called Responsible Gambling Awareness Week, to be launched today by Gaming Minister Daniel Andrews, a farce.

"Victoria University economist James Doughney said it was "deceptive nonsense" for the Government to say it had reduced the percentage of problem gamblers from 2.1 per cent in 1999 to 1.1 per cent in 2003.

"...Mr Doughney scoffed at Government claims there were 43,957 problem gamblers in Victoria.

"The real number of "heavy users" was about 250,000, who lost an average of about $7500 each a year. The Government's figures were based on unreliable prevalence data.

"A spokesman for Mr Andrews (Gaming Minister) said the two surveys used by the State Government were independently conducted by the Productivity Commission and Australian National University..."

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