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New Zealand Gambling Reform Group Backs Pokie Fee Hike

23 December 2003

NEW ZEALAND -- As reported by the New Zealand Press Association: ``A major fee hike for pokie machines means operators will now pay for the problems they cause, a gambling reform group says.

``Under the new Gambling Act, small-scale lotteries and housie games will no longer pay fees, while charges for pokies outside casinos rise from $250 to $373, the Department of Internal Affairs (DIA) said yesterday.

``The fees will cover an extra $1.9 million the department will spend on more surveillance, audits and investigations under provisions of the new act, and costs of administering the rapidly growing sector.

```We're certainly very supportive of the increases in fees on the pokie machine operators,' Coalition for Gambling Reform co-ordinator Dave MacPherson told NZPA today.

``…However, the Hospitality Association says the hike could see operations in smaller communities close, cutting an important source of funds…"

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