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Australian Gambling Site Under Fire

9 February 2005

AUSTRALIA – As reported by the Sydney Morning Herald: "A Government-funded interactive website introducing school students to gambling has come under fire from the Salvation Army.

"The Powerhouse Museum has described its Gambling: calculating the risks project as an educational website, designed to explain the mathematical principles underpinning gambling, as well as highlighting gambling's economic and social costs. There is no staking of money on the website, which invites students to try their luck at roulette, lotto, poker machines and instant scratchies. Players are instead rewarded with 'bonus games' if they solve a series of mathematical challenges interspersed between rounds.

"Helen Whitty, the museum's co-ordinator of education services, said the Casino Community Benefit Fund-financed project presented the potential human cost of gambling without moralising, thereby appealing to its targeted young audience.

"…The Salvation Army's eastern territory co-ordinator for drug, alcohol and problem gambling services, Gerard Byrne, called for a review of the website, saying the risks associated with gambling had been lost beneath the fun and games…"

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