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Australian Churches Want Tougher Gambling Regulation

27 March 2002

AUSTRALIA – As reported by the (Australia) "The Interchurch Gambling Taskforce (IGT) today backed a plan for gamblers to set their own betting limits on poker machines, but said the scheme did not go far enough.

"Melbourne's Crown Casino has announced it would introduce cards for loyalty club members with a self-imposed 24-hour credit limit.

"Members would be denied loyalty points and be shown flashing messages across gaming screens once the limit was reached, although they would be allowed to continue playing.

"IGT chairman John Dalziel said he supported the move, but that it would not necessarily target problem gamblers who provided 40 per cent of gambling revenue in Victoria.

"…`We're saying it does not include problem gamblers because they simply won't join.'

"…`Who is to say that someone won't leave Crown Casino after hitting their limit and head to another half a dozen venues and lose the same amount there,' Mr Dalziel said.

"He said the limit could be negotiated with the Victorian Casino and Gaming Authority for problem gamblers.

"A spokeswoman for Victorian Gaming Minister John Pandazopoulos said the plan was the result of a government initiative released last month and would likely become law for all loyalty programs.

"But the setting of limits would likely remain a voluntary exercise, she said…"

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