Pokie losses up in district

Gisborne has 180 pokies but no problem gambling service provider.

Gisborne has 180 pokies but no problem gambling service provider.

File picture

The amount of money lost to pokie machines in the district for the first quarter of 2019 has risen by $230,000 compared with the same period last year.

During this time Gisborne has been without a problem gambling service.

Latest gaming machine proceeds data from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment show pokie operators here collected $2.77 million from the district’s 180 machines in the first three months of the year.

While there was no change in the number of Class 4 gaming machines (pokies) compared with the same time last year, losses rose $230,000.

There are 180 pokies in Gisborne, operating across 12 venues.

Community group Ka Pai Kaiti said there were still too many pokies in the district.

“The increase in spend is sad for our community and the tamariki/children who are living without,” KPK chairwoman Lizz Crawford said.

“This is a reason we need a Pokie-Free Tairawhiti.

“Pokie gambling plunders our communities regardless of age and takes from those who already have less than most. It takes our freedom, liberty, prosperity and strength.”

The region’s problem gambling service provider stopped operating at the end of last year, meaning people wanting help have had to go out of town.

“Having pokies available in this region without having a safe place to seek help is the worst possible outcome for our people and families,” Ms Crawford said.

“We’ve all agreed it is disgraceful not to have a service here. We would like to talk with industry to be able to turn the tide on this situation and have an approach that puts whanau first.

“The Ministry of Health have indicated that another service has seen only 10 people. We have seen substantially more.

“This means our approach in Tairawhiti must be different too. We don’t need industry money but we do need your influence. Let’s talk.”

The ministry’s gaming proceeds data monitors the amount left in machines minus winnings.

Gisborne District Council is undertaking a review of the district’s gambling policy.

A hearings panel is considering whether to implement a sinking lid policy around the number of NZ Racing Board venues (TABs) in the district and to forbid any Class 4 gambling venue from relocating under any circumstances.

A final recommendation will be put to the council on June 27.

The amount of money lost to pokie machines in the district for the first quarter of 2019 has risen by $230,000 compared with the same period last year.

During this time Gisborne has been without a problem gambling service.

Latest gaming machine proceeds data from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment show pokie operators here collected $2.77 million from the district’s 180 machines in the first three months of the year.

While there was no change in the number of Class 4 gaming machines (pokies) compared with the same time last year, losses rose $230,000.

There are 180 pokies in Gisborne, operating across 12 venues.

Community group Ka Pai Kaiti said there were still too many pokies in the district.

“The increase in spend is sad for our community and the tamariki/children who are living without,” KPK chairwoman Lizz Crawford said.

“This is a reason we need a Pokie-Free Tairawhiti.

“Pokie gambling plunders our communities regardless of age and takes from those who already have less than most. It takes our freedom, liberty, prosperity and strength.”

The region’s problem gambling service provider stopped operating at the end of last year, meaning people wanting help have had to go out of town.

“Having pokies available in this region without having a safe place to seek help is the worst possible outcome for our people and families,” Ms Crawford said.

“We’ve all agreed it is disgraceful not to have a service here. We would like to talk with industry to be able to turn the tide on this situation and have an approach that puts whanau first.

“The Ministry of Health have indicated that another service has seen only 10 people. We have seen substantially more.

“This means our approach in Tairawhiti must be different too. We don’t need industry money but we do need your influence. Let’s talk.”

The ministry’s gaming proceeds data monitors the amount left in machines minus winnings.

Gisborne District Council is undertaking a review of the district’s gambling policy.

A hearings panel is considering whether to implement a sinking lid policy around the number of NZ Racing Board venues (TABs) in the district and to forbid any Class 4 gambling venue from relocating under any circumstances.

A final recommendation will be put to the council on June 27.

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