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Contract loss could mean end of Problem Gambling Foundation

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New Zealand News | Monday May 19 2014 8:41

Photo: NZ Herald

Photo: NZ Herald

There are fears a service for problem gamblers may be lost altogether.

The Ministry of Health is shifting much of the work done by the Problem Gambling Foundation away from the charity, with the Salvation Army expected to take up the slack.

The Foundation is taking the Ministry to court, after losing 70 percent of its current funding.

Spokesman Graeme Ramsey told Newstalk ZB's Mike Hosking the organisation has been outspoken on issues including the SkyCity convention centre deal.

"One of our great worries is that if we are not there to speak for our clients, who will speak?"

He says they've tried to find out why they lost the contract - to no avail.

"While we have used the Official Information Act to request quite a lot more information, all that's really done has raise more questions."

Mr Ramsey says the Salvation Army has a different culture and approach.

The Salvation Army has already begun recruiting qualified staff.

Spokesman Alister Herring says they have a strong workforce of professionally qualified and experienced clinicians.

"I think people are aware that the Salvation Army has been providing addiction services, counselling services for over 100 years now and we've also been providing gambling treatment services for almost 25 years."

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