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Professor says gaming rooms are like urinals: 'You've got business to do'

An Auckland University professor says gaming rooms are designed to fuel addiction, and the layouts must change.

Go into any gambling machine venue in the world, says Peter Adams, and the layout will be the same.

No natural light, cut off from the rest of the bar and the outside world, and with all furniture facing the machines.

"For a problem gambler, they come here to play, the last thing they want to do is interact, they're here to get into the zone, to be with the machine," Professor Adams told Seven Sharp.

He says if you're intent on not being seen when you're gambling, there's a good chance you have a problem.

"The only room that's like it is a male urinal because you go in there, you've got a cubicle, don't talk to each other, you've got business to do," he said.

"I would argue these spaces could include spaces for socialising, have some more furniture in them."

Professor Adams says there is little incentive for the government to force change, given they get 23 per cent of the profits - more than $146m this year.

That figure doesn't include casinos.

"The government gets huge wallops from these machines, community groups get huge profit, I don't think it's right creating these spaces, they're exploitative spaces taking advantage of people's weaknesses to create profits." 

An Auckland University professor says we need to be thinking about the layout of gaming rooms. Source: Seven Sharp