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Keep a Lid on Number of Pokies in Auckland

Keep a lid on the number of pokies in Auckland City

Auckland City already has 3098 pokies and the Problem Gambling Foundation questions why the city needs so many of these harmful machines.

With the Auckland City Council currently reviewing their gambling venue policy, the Problem Gambling Foundation are calling for people to have their say and help keep the number of pokie machines down.

Graeme Ramsey, CEO at the Problem Gambling Foundation says they want the council to keep their existing sinking lid policy.

"Pokie machines are the most harmful form of gambling and most of these machines are located in poorer areas targeting the most vulnerable communities," he says.

"The proposed gambling venue policy the council has put forward for consultation is a 'claytons' sinking lid policy,they will still consider applications for the relocation of existing venues and/or machines which is not a sinking lid policy at all," Graeme Ramsey says.

Over the last year, in Auckland alone, nearly $88 million was spent on pokie machines and that does not include casinos.

Graeme Ramsey says a "true" sinking lid policy means the number of venues and machines are ˜capped" and automatically reduce when venues close or relocate.

"We want to see a sinking lid policy and the number of pokie machines reduced," he says.

"While we are not anti-gambling, we are anti pokie machines, they are a dangerous product and Auckland doesn't need any more of them."

The Problem Gambling Foundation is encouraging people to have their say about the proposed gambling venue policy in Auckland City.

For people wanting further information about making a submission visit http://www.pgfnz.org.nz/AucklandCity .

Ends

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