‘Robbing Peter to pay Paul’: Christchurch gamblers drop $1.5m a week into poker machines

Stuff co.nz 17 January 2018
Family First Comment: “An unfortunate consequence of deprivation is you’re vulnerable to things like alcohol and drugs and gambling, and the machines are designed to be addictive.”

Millions of dollars each year flow from some of the most deprived Christchurch communities into the hands of clubs and charities via pokies scattered around the city.

A case worker has described the situation as an ethical dilemma, while a gaming industry representative says the industry is working hard to make sure the money benefiting organisations does not come from problem gambling.

Gaming machine societies raked in about $56 million in the first nine months of last year in Christchurch at a rate of close to $1.5m a week, according to Department of Internal Affairs (DIA) figures.

Problem Gambling Foundation chief executive Paula Snowden said of the 87 licensed venues in the city, excluding Christchurch Casino, about 40 per cent were in areas that measured a 7 or more on the index of deprivation.

“We know that density of outlets is an indicator of harm, it’s been well established in the research. The more machines per head of population in the poorest areas, the greater the harm,” she said.

“An unfortunate consequence of deprivation is you’re vulnerable to things like alcohol and drugs and gambling, and the machines are designed to be addictive.”
READ MORE: https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/100611990/robbing-peter-to-pay-paul-christchurch-gamblers-drop-15m-a-week-into-poker-machines

Support to reduce city’s gambling venues
Otago Daily Times 17 January 2018
A majority of submitters support the Dunedin City Council’s proposal to gradually reduce the number of gambling venues in the city.

The council has proposed changes to its gambling and TAB venue policy which would extend South Dunedin’s sinking lid policy on poker machines across the rest of the city.

The new policy would also ban new gambling venues and not allow existing ones to relocate.

At the last review in 2013 a sinking lid was adopted for South Dunedin and a cap introduced for the rest of the city.

A report to the council’s planning and environment committee found there had been a 21% decrease in machine numbers in South Dunedin and a 16% drop for the rest of the city.
READ MORE: https://www.odt.co.nz/news/dunedin/support-reduce-citys-gambling-venues
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