INDEPENDENT NEWS

13 new pokie machines every single day

Published: Thu 10 Oct 2002 03:34 PM
10 October 2002
13 new pokie machines every single day
Green Gambling Spokesperson Sue Bradford today said she was alarmed to learn that more than 13 new pokie machines are being licensed in New Zealand every single working day.
The information obtained by Ms Bradford notes that despite a reduction in the number of non-club (hotel, tavern, restaurant, TAB and bar) sites, more than 13 new pokie machines are introduced to New Zealand every working day.
"At this rate the Government will be allowing the introduction of 3200 new pokie machines each year. Aren't the 23,000 we already have enough?" asked Ms Bradford.
"Last year, more than 5000 new problem gamblers were officially recognised and three quarters of these gamblers cited pokie machines as the primary source of their difficulties. Given the rapid spread of these machines nobody should be surprised at the corresponding rise in gambling problems," said Ms Bradford.
"Given the addictive nature of these machines, and the misery and suffering they cause so many New Zealand families we must stop the rampant proliferation of pokie machines throughout Aotearoa."
The Green Party wants a moratorium on new gaming machines, more community control of where pokie machines can be located, and a change in the law so that the profits from pokie machines go to the community instead of into private hands.
"If the Government will not impose a moratorium on new pokie machines in this Bill then the Greens will be moving amendments to this effect and challenging the rest of parliament to support them," said Ms Bradford.
"I will be challenging Peter Dunne to put up or shut up on his 'family friendly' rhetoric and fully back the Greens on this.
"The Responsible Gambling Bill will be a real test for both the United and New Zealand First parties. Its time for these parties to contribute something meaningful to this Parliament and actually stand up for families and communities, instead of backing the profiteers of the gambling industry."
ENDS

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