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Fast-food pokies loses battle

Media Release:

MANA Vice-President John Minto
Friday 21 September 2012

Fast-food pokies loses battle – a victory for MANA and a victory for Otara

The fast-food pokie outlet at 120 East Tamaki Road lost its appeal to the Gambling Commission and will be closing.

The Commission decision is a victory for MANA and a victory for Otara.

This was a tawdry little setup where gambling addicts in a vulnerable community were being milked behind the facade of a fast-food shop.

In its decision the Commission confirmed the income from the bar and takeaways was less than 1% of the income from gaming machines.

The commission decision is here:

MANA complained to the Department of Internal Affairs earlier this year and after a visit the Department cancelled the venue licence for pokie machines. The venue has been allowed to remain open in the meantime because they appealed the decision. This is just one of the weaknesses in already pathetic legislation which allows what amounts to outright theft from poor communities.

It has become clear this venue has been operating illegally for the best part of the last 18 months. In this time it’s 18 pokie machines will have stripped well over a million dollars from the people of Otara (on average each pokie machine takes a net $48,000 per year)

The closure of the fast-food pokies reduces the number of pokies in the immediate Otara community from 90 to 72. There are four venues remaining, each with 18 machines.

It’s a case of one down – four to go.

MANA is campaigning for Otara to become the first pokie-free zone in New Zealand. We are collecting signatures in the community for a petition calling on the government and local council representatives to give the community the power to make and enforce this declaration.


© Scoop Media

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