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Australian Government Urged to Start Problem Gambling Agency

8 January 2003

AUSTRALIA – As reported by the Australian "The State Government will be urged to set up a problem-gambling agency modelled on the Quit anti-smoking campaign as part of its restructured gaming administration.

"After a series of controversies last year, the Bracks Government announced it would overhaul the machinery governing the multi-billion-dollar industry.

"…Ten days before the state election in November, the government promised an advocate for responsible gambling `to oversee the development and implementation of responsible gambling strategies'.

"The chief anti-gambling lobby group, the InterChurch Gambling Taskforce, sees an opportunity to persuade the government to extend this idea to an independent statutory body comparable to VicHealth, which took up the anti-smoking message through Quit.

"…Mr Costello said the new body should have responsibility for research, advocacy for consumers, suggesting legislative change and running advertising campaigns to cut problem gambling.

"…Gaming Minister John Pandazopoulos said the government was committed to tackling problem gambling…"

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