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Australian Problem Gambling Funds Remain Untouched

12 December 2002

AUSTRALIA – As reported by the (Australian) Mercury: "More than $2.5 million (US$1.41 million) set aside to help with problem gambling remains untouched in State Government coffers.

"The kitty was discovered by a Legislative Council committee investigation into gaming machines.

"…A quarter of the money is supposed to go to charitable organisations and clubs and half to research into prevention, treatment and rehabilitation of compulsive gamblers and community gambling education.

"However, $2.5 million remains unallocated, $2 million of which was supposed to have been used in the prevention of problem gambling and community education.

"Committee member Sue Smith said welfare groups had been screaming out for funding while this money sat idle.

"…The report by the committee, which also included Mersey MLC Geoff Squibb, said the Government was playing a contradictory role, as it was both a participant in and promoter of gambling activity while also attempting to reduce the social harm of gambling…"

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