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Child Bonuses Linked to Rise in Gambling Business

24 June 2004

AUSTRALIA – As reported by the Australia Age: "Welfare groups have called for changes to the way family bonuses are paid following reports of a spike in business at gaming venues since last week, when two million families began receiving the Federal Government's $600 child payment.

"In Victoria, several hotels reported they were busier than usual, while an ATSIC councillor in the Northern Territory linked the bonus to increased spending on gambling, alcohol and drugs.

"…Interchurch Gambling Taskforce spokesman Tim Costello said he was not surprised business boomed at gaming venues.

"…He said family bonuses should be paid as instalments, rather than as a one-off.

"…Victorian Council of Social Service chief executive Cath Smith predicted similar spending sprees when the $3000 bonus for newborn babies becomes available from next week…"

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