Call for New Gambling Laws in New Zealand to Protect Vulnerable People from Offshore Gambling Sites
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Fiona Cambridge, PGF Services counsellor of Dunedin, has said that the government needs to update its legislation to protect vulnerable people from offshore gambling sites.
Although it was illegal for overseas online gambling operators to advertise to New Zealanders, they had ways to direct internet users to their sites. Domestic gambling operators had to be responsible hosts, giving gamblers some sense of protection.
Tracey Martin, Internal Affairs Minister, said that betting offshore was legal, and New Zealanders had spent about $380 million on offshore gambling sites in the past 18 months.
Unlike domestic gambling operators, offshore online gambling operators did not contribute to the community through funding grants, Mrs. Martin said.
A discussion document had been launched seeking feedback on a range of options such as establishing a licensing system, where online providers must meet certain conditions to be able to legally offer their services in New Zealand.
Other options include geoblocking access to overseas gambling sites or banning the use of credit cards for online gambling. The public consultation runs until the end of next month.
Ms. Cambridge encouraged people to make a submission, especially if they knew of anyone who had lost money to an overseas gambling operator.
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