Tagging the cure for gambling addicts?
By Paul
Anti-gambling campaigners in Victoria, Australia are considering electronic “tagging” as a last resort measure to keep problem gamblers out of casinos.

Interchurch Gambling Task Force spokesman Reverend Tim Costello agreed it was extreme to monitor gambling addicts with wristbands which would trigger alarms if they entered casinos, but he said that existing self-regulatory codes of conduct for gambing venues was insufficient.

'I think you will find a few of us (anti-gambling groups) at the table now are so utterly disgusted at the lack of government inaction we might consider it,' he said. According to a report in the Herald Sun last week, the use of wristbands would be put to the Victoria government next month, but a spokesperson for Gaming Minister John Pandazopoulos said he was unaware of the proposal and that it was not clear where it had come from.

Costello said he only knew about the proposal from newspaper reports, but he said campaigners were 'desperate' for measures to stem the increasing number of problem gamblers.

'It actually has got to chronic proportions, 17,000 people are rendered homeless in Victoria through problem gambling,' he said.

'The most disastrous statistic is one-third of gamblers fund their problem gambling by crime, so it now has a profile like heroin.'

Costello said the task force supported calls for a mandatory code of conduct forcing venues to be responsible for keeping problem gamblers out.

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