FIJI CONSIDERING INTRODUCTION OF GAMBLING MACHINES

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SUVA, Fiji Islands (December 9, 1998 - Radio Australia)---The Fiji Cabinet has decided to await a social impact assessment report before making a decision on whether to allow gambling machines to be introduced in Fiji.

Radio Australia correspondent Karan Pillay reports from Suva that draft legislation allowing for the introduction of gaming machines already has been prepared.

"The Government has received numerous applications from individuals and businesses to set up gaming machines in the country, in the hope that gaming laws will change.

"Gaming machines are currently prohibited.

"Cabinet met this week in a special sitting to consider draft amendments to the gaming machine regulations. But no definite decision was made. Instead, Cabinet has asked for an in-depth study on the introduction of gaming machines before they make a firm decision.

"The study will include a social impact assessment.

"The Government has also reiterated its earlier decision not to consider any proposals for casino operations.

"It did, however, amend laws four years ago to allow lotteries giant Tattslotto to set up operations in Fiji.

"Karan Pillay, Suva."

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