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Australian Opposition to Scrap Poker Machine Laws

13 September 2002

AUSTRALIA – As reported by the Sydney Morning Herald : "The Opposition will scrap laws to shut down all poker machines in pubs and clubs for six hours and will review the present 6-to-9am shutdown if it wins the next state election.

"Meanwhile, hoteliers and clubs are lobbying the Government to promise a similar review, arguing that any extension of the shutdown - scheduled to start a month after the March election - should only go ahead if research shows it helps problem gamblers.

"The shutdown was introduced in April to force problem gamblers to take a `reality check' by having a break from gambling.

"But they can overcome the shutdown and legally play the pokies in some pubs and at the casino during the three-hour morning shutdown

"…Punters stopped from playing in nearby pubs at 6am can walk to the Crystal Palace and continue gambling.

"…The head of the NSW Council on Problem Gambling, the Rev Chester Carter, said: `It makes it a little bit of a Clayton's law when one part shuts down and the other part opens.'

"But the Opposition's gaming spokesman, George Souris, said the Opposition would review the shutdown and seek evidence on whether it had reduced problem gambling…"

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