Sports groups fear impact of ‘sinking lid’ on pokies

NZ Herald 25 July 2013
Pokie numbers in pubs and clubs across Auckland will drop under a new unified Super City policy, at least partly offsetting more pokies in the Sky City casino under the controversial convention centre deal.
After a long process that began soon after the Super City was formed in 2010, the Auckland Council has adopted a uniform “sinking lid” in the region, banning new pokie venues and refusing to allow pokies to be relocated when existing outlets close.
It has allowed only one exception – for clubs that merge. They will be allowed to keep five-sixths of the pokies they had at their previous venues, provided the merged site already has a pokie licence.
Problem Gambling Foundation public health manager Tony Milne hailed the decision as “a victory for the people of Auckland”.
But sports bodies that depend on pokie money were appalled.