Strong support in Auckland for curbing gambling

Nine out of every 10 people in Auckland want cuts to the number of poker machines in the poorest and most vulnerable parts of the city.

A Curia poll found support from 87 per cent of respondents as lawmakers prepare to set new rules governing the availability of poker machines.

Across the Auckland region there are 4,183 pokie machines at 305 different venues. In 2011, $245 million dollars was lost on them.

Problem gambling figures suggest that around 40% of that money came from problem gamblers who are usually those who can least afford it.

Opposition to gambling venues has also been revealed in the more than 9,500 submissions received on Auckland Council’s proposed policies on TAB and pokie venues.

The council aims to set policies for non-casino pokie venues, with 4069 gambling machines in pubs and clubs across the city.

Local governments are obliged by law to set policies and the new policy was the first chance to have a unified approach across Auckland.

“It’s great to see so many people taking the time to make their views known on the subject of gambling,” says Councillor Cathy Casey, Chair of the council’s Social and Community Development Forum.

“We identified the need to minimise gambling-related harm in the Auckland Plan. These two policies are a way we can achieve that. It is clear from the number of submissions that our communities care very much about gambling in Auckland.”

Problem Gambling Foundation national health manager Tony Milne said a sinking-lid policy would stop licences to run pokies being transferred from bars and clubs which closed. “The most powerful submissions come from people who have experienced the harm from pokie machines with accounts of lives … torn apart by pokie machines.”




Additional reading

News category: New Zealand.

Tags: , , , , ,