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Pokies Taken to Australia's Gamblers

12 December 2003

VICTORIA, Australia – As reported by the Australian: "Poker machines are apparently being shifted between venues by Victoria's two licensed operators in a bid to target problem gamblers, most of whom live in disadvantaged areas, the head of the state's gambling research body has alleged.

"Linda Hancock has accused the Bracks Government of not committing adequate resources to allow the gathering of data to establish why caps on the number of poker machines in such locations are failing to prevent an increase in gambling revenue.

…Tim Costello, outgoing head of the state's Interchurch Gambling Taskforce, said if the panel was able to gather the data, it would provide 'the smoking gun' for problem gambling in Victoria -- a scenario he said the Government was desperate to avoid.

…A spokesman for Gaming Minister John Pandazopoulos said legislation would come into force on July 1 to allow researchers access to data from gambling venues…"

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