Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


1416 pokies a mere drop in the ocean

22 September, 2003

1416 pokies a mere drop in the ocean

Green MP Sue Bradford said today that the enforced return of only 1416 out of 23,000 pokie machines exposes the Government's Gambling Act for the farce that it is.

Restrictions imposed by the Gambling Act come in to force today allowing only nine machines per venue for those licensed after October 17, 2001. Pokie operators have until midnight tonight to remove excess machines - although there will hardly be a flood of returns.

According to the Department of Internal Affairs, the restrictions will affect 1416 machines out of the 22,971 that were in operation as of June 30, 2003.

"The removal of only 1416 machines today shows just how ineffectual the Government's Gambling Act will be," said Ms Bradford, the Green Gambling spokesperson.

"There is a huge gambling problem in New Zealand caused by the 23,000 pokie machines sucking the life out of communities. The removal of six per cent of these machines is no more than a drop in the ocean in trying to fix this problem.

"What the Government has effectively said is 'it's okay if you got in first'. They've made the winners' circle so big that the only losers are gambling addicts, the community and the operators of 1416 machines.

"George Hawkins should hang his head in shame. This Act is nothing more than a sop to the industry and he knows that."

Ms Bradford revealed that if all pokie venues were limited to nine machines, regardless of the date they were licensed, then 8733 would be affected.

"If they had had the good sense to apply the nine machines per site rule for every venue in the country, then we could have seen a 38 per cent reduction in machines rather than a six per cent reduction.

"At least this would have made some impact for the thousands of people and their families caught in the grip of gambling addiction," said Ms Bradford.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines


Wellington: Predator Free Capital Plan

Wellington City Council (WCC), the Greater Wellington Regional Council (GWRC) and NEXT Foundation, today announced a joint collaboration to make Wellington the first Predator Free capital city in the world. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Judith Collins’ Efforts At Self Correction

Thousands of prisoners currently in prison may be entitled to an earlier release than expected – and compensation – because Corrections has incorrectly calculated their term of imprisonment. Unless of course, the government buries its mistakes by changing the law and retro-actively getting itself off the hook… More>>


More Justice & Corrections

Sector Opposes Bill: Local Government Bill Timeframe Extended

The Minister of Local Government Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga has asked the Select Committee to extend the report back date for the Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Bill (No 2). More>>


Breed Laws Don’t Work: Vets On New National Dog Control Plan

It is pleasing therefore to see Louise Upston Associate Minister for Local Government calling for a comprehensive solution... However, relying on breed specific laws to manage dog aggression will not work. More>>


Not Waiting On Select Committee: Green Party Releases Medically-Assisted Dying Policy

“Adults with a terminal illness should have the right to choose a medically assisted death,” Green Party health spokesperson Kevin Hague said. “The Green Party does not support extending assisted dying to people who aren't terminally ill because we can’t be confident that this won't further marginalise the lives of people with disabilities." More>>


General Election Review: Changes To Electoral Act Introduced

More effective systems in polling places and earlier counting of advanced votes are on their way through proposed changes to our electoral laws, Justice Minister Amy Adams says. More>>

Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news