1 Nov 2004

Campaign in Fiji opposing the introduction of gaming machines and casinos

4:51 pm on 1 November 2004

The Fiji Council of Social Services has started to campaign against proposals to introduce gaming machines and casinos as they believe gambling could be the country's next big social problem.

The Council says that addiction to gambling is responsible for a marked increase in domestic violence and a growing number of bankruptcies.

The Council Director, Hasan Khan, says a preliminary study carried out by the group says there is also a substantial increase in counselling services sought problem gamblers.

Mr Khan says the Council is launching an anti-gambling campaign.

"There is generally a feeling amongst the political and the administrative beurocracy that this should not be put in a hurry. But because the gambling lobby is very strong throughout the world, anything can happen, this is why we thought it would be better for us to mount up an anti-gambling campaign now before its too late."

Hasan Khan from the Fiji Council of Social Services.