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New Zealand Problem Gambling Foundation Criticized

8 June 2005

NEW ZEALAND – (PRESS RELEASE) -- Members of the Charity Gaming Association are disappointed the Problem Gambling Foundation should make sweeping assertions about the charity gaming sector to support excessive demonization of gaming machines.

"We acknowledge that a small minority of individual players are significantly affected because they can't control their gambling habit – the majority of people who use the pokies for entertainment can't relate at all to the extravagant and unsupported by facts claims about links with criminal activity," said CGA Chief executive Francis Wevers.

We support initiatives to provide support and help for problem gamblers. Millions of dollars are levied on the charitable trusts each year to pay for problem gambling help services.

We welcome and support moves towards an environment of sustainable and responsible gambling.

But beating up on venue owners and the charitable trusts which distribute $300 million each year to deserving community groups does nothing to resolve the problems faced by problem gamblers.

The Problem Gambling Foundation needs to look at itself in the mirror and ask itself if blaming everyone else actually helps their cause in the end," concluded Francis Wevers.

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