This week the Department of Internal Affairs achieved a successful prosecution of four men and an incorporated society for misusing the proceeds from pokie machines. They will be sentenced in the new year.
Last week the Rawene Masonic Hotel, situated in Northland, issued a notice on their Facebook page that they would be removing all gaming machines from their venue. The decision came in the wake of an event in which a young girl had left her child in a baby capsule outside while she entered the establishment to play on the gaming machines.
This week the Department of Internal Affairs released the figures on proceeds from pub and club gambling machines in the first quarter of 2018. From January 1 to March 31, $212 million was generated from pokies, a 2.3% increase on the same period in 2017.
"This is disappointing news," says Lance Norman, Chief Executive Officer for Hāpai Te Hauora. "Even with sinking lid policies, a reduction in gaming venues, machines and licence holders, pokie machines are taking more and more money away from families and out of our communities."
The Kaitaia-based GP raised concerns at the International Gambling conference earlier this year that gambling harm was apparent in his clinic on a daily basis.
A pou sharing the thoughts of Te Atatu Intermediate School students about gambling in their communities will be on display in Mangere today as part of an event to mark Gamble Harm Awareness week.
A new report has found pokies machines in small venues don’t offer the checks against problem gambling as those in casinos.
The Department of Internal Affairs employed a mystery shopper strategy using actors displaying the traits of problem gamblers.
Anthony Hawke, the Maori public health manager at Hapai Te Hauora, says the result was an indictment on the laws that allow the machines to go into bars and smaller clubs which don’t have the software and trained host responsibility staff available to larger venues.