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Aussie Poker Machines to be Turned Off Next Week

27 March 2002

SYDNEY, Australia -- As reported by the Australian Associated Press: ``Poker machines in pubs and clubs will be switched off for three hours a day across NSW from next week.

``Under new rules put into place by the NSW government, the machines will be switched off from 6am to 9am every day in pubs and clubs across the state from next Tuesday.

``Gaming and Racing Minister Richard Face said the shutdown was a key part of the government's gambling harm minimisation package contained in the new Gaming Machines Act.

``...But Paul Symond from Betsafe, an organisation promoting responsible gambling, said he did not believe switching off the machines for three hours in the morning would help those addicted to taking a punt.

``...The three-hour shutdown will apply until April 30 next year, after which the period will be extended to six hours.

``But clubs and hotels would be able to apply to have the shutdown reduced to three hours on weekends and public holidays, Mr Face said..."

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