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Australian Group Calls for Steps to Cut Access to Poker Machines

24 November 2000

AUSTRALIA – Nov. 24, 2000 --As reported by the Sydney Morning Herald: "The current freeze on new poker machines in New South Wales clubs and a cap on pokies in hotels should be extended for at least another two years, according to the Council of Social Service of New South Wales.

"The call follows evidence that low-income families were gambling away $5.5 billion on poker machines a year.

"NCOSS director Gary Moore said the group had handed a seven-point plan calling for a halt in the growth of gambling to the State Government on Tuesday.

"As well, the Government should consider the concept of a levy on clubs and hotels when gaming machine turnover exceeded an agreed benchmark each quarter, Mr Moore said.

"…Figures released for the February quarter by the NSW Department of Gaming and Racing showed residents in Sydney's most disadvantaged areas sank an average of $181 a week into poker machines.

"In contrast, residents in more affluent areas spent around $44.50 a week…"

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