Gambling up, despite disappearing pokie machines

NewsHub 21 October 2016
Family First Comment: “This is an issue that affects us all, because the impacts of problem gambling in terms of neglect, crime and demand for food banks, those are costs that we all pick up.”
Problem Gambling Foundation of New Zealand CEO Graeme Ramsey   

Tighter regulations on gaming machines seem to be having little impact on Kiwis losing out at the pokies.

Department of Internal Affairs figures show gamblers’ losses at the pokies rose 2.5 percent in the July-September quarter, up $5.4 million from last year to $218.9 million.

Problem Gambling Foundation of New Zealand CEO Graeme Ramsey says the unnecessary spending needs to be brought to heel.

“This is an issue that affects us all, because the impacts of problem gambling in terms of neglect, crime and demand for food banks, those are costs that we all pick up.”

In the year ending September, the number of license holders fell 8 percent and venues fell 3 percent. But over the same time period Kiwis lost almost $850 million, up 3 percent.

“Only a very small proportion in New Zealand ever touch a pokie machine,” says Mr Ramsey.

“If you think about the total amount of money being lost and that small percentage, you can see that some people are losing a huge amount of money.
READ MORE: http://www.newshub.co.nz/nznews/gambling-up-despite-disappearing-pokie-machines-2016102106

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