19 May 2009

Gambling conference cancelled

2:09 pm on 19 May 2009

A gambling conference planned to be held in Wellington on Tuesday was cancelled by the Department of Internal Affairs.

The department's deputy secretary, Keith Manch, says the conference was cancelled in February as it did not make sense to hold it while the new government looked at the distribution of gaming money.

He says the conference would have looked at the progress made in the five years since the introduction of the Gambling Act, but would have cost each attendee more than $500 to attend.

Mr Manch says at a time when many community groups are struggling in the recession, community funding through pokies should be cleaned up, and a lot more money put back into communities.

Problem Gambling Foundation spokesman David Coom says communities are struggling in the recession and this would have been an appropriate time to hold the conference.

He says more people are having problems with online gambling, racing and lotteries gambling.

Mr Coom says the foundation also wanted to discuss how effectively online gambling is regulated.