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Activist: New Zealand Needs to Scrutinize Online Gambling

29 July 2001

NEW ZEALAND – July 29, 2001 –As reported by (New Zealand) One News: "In the wake of a government announcement about a continuing ban on new casinos, an Australian anti-gambling campaigner says New Zealand needs to act fast on limiting a faster-growing threat.

"…`You need to nip it in the bud because otherwise New Zealand will face a tidal wave of problem gambling, because it's accessible, it's interactive, and they're all the factors that will make gambling addiction skyrocket,' campaigner Nick Xenophon says.

"Australia's Senate has just legislated against Internet gambling - their casinos cannot go on-line, but some developing nations see Internet casinos as a money spinner.

"…New Zealand casinos are waiting to hear whether they can register for online gambling, or whether the government will follow Australia's' lead.

"`We're working through all the gaming laws at the moment, and that's probably the last one we'll look at because it's the newest and there are no laws surrounding it but we want to be sure there are protections for people and that's what we're looking at,' says Internal Affairs Minister George Hawkins.

"…`There are difficulties there and there are difficulties in it really - there's no money going for the treatment of addiction and people who have a problem quite often like to hide away,' Hawkins says…"

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