3 May 2007

PNG National Council of Women opposes newly passed gaming law

7:12 pm on 3 May 2007

Papua New Guinea's National Council of Women says people should show opposition to the new gaming law in the way they'll cast their vote in the next election.

This comes after parliament passed the Gaming Control Bill 2007 which will allow casinos and internet gambling.

The council's president, Scholla Kakas, says people's views should have been sought about the bill.

She says the bill appeared suddenly, and then in the last session of parliament before the general election in June, it was passed.

"That's the only time where people can show their frustrations, if they are not happy with this casino gaming bill, it will show up at this national election."

Scholla Kakas says the country has had major problems with pokie machines, and the government should be looking at alternatives to minimise social problems related to gambling.

Meanwhile, the Minister for Community Development, Dame Carol Kidu, says this kind of bill is not conducive to developing healthy societies in PNG, given its social implications.

A couple of days before I passed a child welfare act in PNG which is a review of our child welfare act which is extremely outdated, and then we are we're talking about social welfare and social things, and on the other hand I think this is not in the interest of social development.

Dame Carol Kidu says she abstained from voting on the game bill by walking out of parliament along with some other MPs.

The bill was passed by 61 to 0.