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New Zealand Pokie Operators Criticized

28 August 2006

NEW ZEALAND – As reported by the New Zealand Stuff: "The law should come down hard on southern pokie machine operators who stand by as the cancer of addiction forces their punters into crime, the Problem Gambling Foundation says.

"They should lose their gambling licences if it can be proved they saw but ignored the plight of problem gamblers chained by addiction to their machines, foundation chief executive John Stansfield said last night.

"It was disgusting that Invercargill woman Keri Ann Boyer – who was sent to jail on Friday for stealing almost $250,000 from her employer – gambled $90,000 unchecked, Mr Stansfield said.

"…Police said the mother-of-two stole $243,853 and that $90,000 of it was gambled in what were described as two of the city's better-known poker machine establishments.

"…Auckland-based Mr Stansfield said the conviction was a wake-up call that operators had to provide information and assistance to suspected problem gamblers and that they could exclude them if they needed it…"

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