INDEPENDENT NEWS

Reliable Information On Problem Gambling

Published: Wed 1 Aug 2001 03:28 PM
GMTA Members Want More Audits, Monitoring And Accurate, Reliable Information On Problem Gambling
The Gaming Machine Trusts Association (GMTA) has welcomed Government initiatives to address problem gambling, increase audits of gaming machines and provide more information and education about gambling to those involved in it.
GMTA’s independent Chairman, Grant Cameron of Christchurch, said today the Association members applauded the Government’s decision to involve the Health Ministry in providing problem gambling services, funded by the gaming industry.
“Our members already pay $137 per machine per year to the Problem Gambling Committee, more than one million dollars a year, and we undertake a wide variety of other activities to identify and help problem gamblers. We care,” Mr Cameron said.
“However, we are strongly of the view that we now need accurate, independent and reliable information on the extent of problem gambling and those affected by it in New Zealand. Otherwise, we are in danger of pushing money into areas where it may not achieve maximum effect. It makes sense to start from a well-researched position.”
Mr Cameron said GMTA members operated some 7,300 non-casino gaming machines at 700 sites, and distributed $78 million to numerous community, sporting and charitable groups throughout New Zealand in the year to March 2001. Without this funding source, many of these groups would fall over. Funds were generally approved in 14 days in an efficient manner.
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“GMTA members are professionals who raise funds for local communities throughout New Zealand. They operate in a thoroughly professional and reputable manner. They give 100% support to auditing of gaming machines and are 100% in favour of electronic monitoring,” Mr Cameron said.
“GMTA members are in favour of any Government initiatives which will stamp out the potential for abuse of the system and prevent reputable owners and operators being smeared by the tactics of those who are less than honest.”
GMTA members also support rationalisation of non-casino gaming machine sites to reduce the number of small operators, increase the effectiveness of audits and reduce the potential for misappropriation of funds.
Association members wanted to work in partnership with the Government to drive out any undesirable elements in gaming, to assist those who had problems and to continue to provide the millions of dollars needed by charities, sporting bodies and community groups, Mr Cameron said.
GMTA members include:
- Community Grants Foundation Inc
- The Lion Foundation
- GoldTimes Foundation
- New Zealand Community Trust
- Scottswood Trust
- Southern Regions Charitable Trust
ENDS

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