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Australian Gaming Squad Targets Addicts

4 April 2002

AUSTRALIA – As reported by the Australian Courier- Mail: "Gaming watchdogs are to be appointed in all Queensland casinos, hotels and clubs to help fight spiralling gambling addiction

"`Responsible gambling liaison officers' will be able to advise problem gamblers how to get themselves banned from gaming establishments and direct them to counselling services.

"…Responsible gaming liaison officers and new rules governing the placement of clocks, ATMs and signage in gaming establishments are part of the code, to be unveiled next month by Treasurer Terry Mackenroth.

"It is understood that clubs, pubs and casinos will train existing staff to act as gaming liaison officers.

"…Committee chairman Ian Macdonald, executive director of Relationships Australia which runs the Break Even gambling counselling service, praised gaming outlets for backing the code.

"…Mr Macdonald said gaming outlets would not be able to ban problem gamblers without the gamblers first seeking exclusion.

"…Major Queensland casino company Jupiters has already appointed a responsible gaming watchdog – former Break Even head Mary Marquass, who is also a member of the National Advisory Body on Gambling.

"…A 1999 Productivity Commission report found that problem gambling affected 290,000 Australians, each losing an average of $12,000 a year."

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