• Jack Elder
Internal Affairs

The Minister of Internal Affairs, Jack Elder says the Chief Executive of the Compulsive Gambling Society, Ralph Gerdelan, is talking nonsense to suggest the Government is driving an explosion in gambling.

Mr Elder says the Gaming Law Reform Bill, currently before Parliament will strengthen controls on gaming machines, minimise their negative social effects and provide a new approach to casino licensing, including allowing increased community input into casino decisions.

The Government, he said, also brokered the establishment of the Committee on Problem Gambling Management. This committee has been funded by almost $3 million from the main players in the gambling industry and the Lottery Grants Board.

The committee has also funded, along with Lotteries Commission finance, the New Zealand Gaming Survey which will provide authoritative research into problem gambling. The committee contributed $100,000 and lottery money, $800,000.

"It is important we have high quality, robust and objective information to assist in developing policy to deal with the social issue of problem gambling," Mr Elder said.

The survey is being conducted by Dr Max Abbott and Dr Rachel Volberg.