IGC Says Prevalence Study Is No Cause for Celebration

    VANCOUVER, British Columbia, Sept. 25 /CNW/ -- While the Interactive
Gaming Council (IGC), like all advocates of responsible gaming behaviour, is
pleased to see that the rate of problem gambling in Britain has not increased
in the last eight years, our members are committed to deploying the latest
technology and improving internal procedures to assist in further abatement of
a problem that currently exists in both land-based and online gaming.
    Despite the growth of new forms of gambling -- including online gaming
and betting -- the British Gambling Prevalence Survey 2007, released Sept. 19,
showed little change in the number of problem gamblers since the last such
survey in 1999
(http://www.gamblingcommission.gov.uk/Client/detail.asp?ContentId=288). Then,
as now, about 0.6 per cent of the population 16 years old and above gambled to
the extent that it produced negative consequences in their lives.
    "This is an important study that provides valuable insights and
benchmarks," said John FitzGerald, Chief Executive of the IGC, "but the
findings are no cause for celebration or for relaxing our programs to mitigate
problem gambling. Even one problem gambler is one too many, and the IGC, along
with its members, will continue with its efforts to ensure that Internet
gamblers continue to enjoy this form of entertainment in a socially
responsible manner.
    "Problem gambling is bad for the individual, the gaming operator and the
industry at large. Fortunately, today's technology, coupled with a properly
trained staff, enables operators of interactive gaming sites identify
individuals that may suffer the harm of excessive gambling and effectively
intervene. IGC members will continue to work with technology partners to
refine and improve the tools that ensure a safe, secure environment for
players everywhere."
    FitzGerald noted that the Prevalence Survey found that only 6 per cent of
the British population used the Internet to gamble in the last year. "This
shows that a small percentage of the total gambling market is Internet based,"
he said, "but as that percentage increases in future years, particularly with
the legalization of advertising, operators of gaming websites will have to be
even more vigilant in conducting their business in a socially responsible
    Members of the IGC are required to abide by the organization's Code of
Conduct and Responsible Gaming Guidelines. Throughout its 11-year history, the
IGC has advocated strict government licensing and regulation of interactive

    About the IGC (http://www.igcouncil.org)

    Formed in 1996, the IGC is the leading trade association for the
international interactive gaming industry with its membership operating or
supplying services to the most reputable interactive sites on the World Wide
Web. Based in Canada, the IGC champions initiatives that address the multi-
various challenges and opportunities facing the internet gaming industry in
order to ensure an environment of fair and responsible gaming.

    John K. FitzGerald, Chief Executive, john.fitzgerald@igcouncil.org
     Phone: 1-416-207-3307
    Keith Furlong, Deputy Director, keithf@igcouncil.org
     Phone: 1-732-687-0880

For further information:

For further information: John K. FitzGerald, Chief Executive, (416)
207-3307, john.fitzgerald@igcouncil.org; or Keith Furlong, Deputy Director,
(732) 687-0880, keithf@igcouncil.org, both of Interactive Gaming Council Web
Site: http://www.igcouncil.org/

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