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New Zealand Anti-Gambling Information Criticized

26 August 2005

NEW ZEALAND – (PRESS RELEASE) -- Estimates published by antigambling activist group, Gambling Watch, are unscientifically gathered and misleading the Chief Executive of the Charity Gaming Association, Francis Wevers, said today.

"The activists try to obscure the fact that about $1 million a day is returned by charitable trusts to the community through grants and taxes.

"In addition to that the Lotteries Grants Board makes substantial community grants from the profits generated by Lotto and its other products.

"New Zealand has a unique gambling environment where the community derives very substantial benefit from the national pastime of having a flutter on the horses, the lotto and on gaming machines in the local pub.

"In addition to this the Government and the charitable trusts have made sure there is a real commitment to minimizing the harm gambling may cause for a very small number of people with gambling addiction. The gambling industry as a whole is contributing over $30 million dollars to problem gambling research and service provision over the next three years.

"This is a responsible industry focused on the well-being of New Zealanders and creating a safe way to gamble safely – making spurious attacks based on misleading information does Gambling Watch and its zealous activists no credit,"concluded Francis Wevers.

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