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Have your say on pokies in Whanganui

Have your say on pokies in Whanganui

The Problem Gambling Foundation and Nga Tai O te Awa are encouraging people to have their say on Whanganui District Council’s proposed gambling venues policy.

The Council proposes to retain a sinking lid policy, allow only one standalone TAB venue and has a relocation option for consideration.

Margaret Ryniker, Counsellor and Health Promoter from the Problem Gambling Foundation, and Hine Potaka, Health Promoter from Nga Tai o te Awa, agree that a sinking lid policy is the best policy to keep the number of pokies down in Whanganui.

“We are pleased the council have proposed a sinking lid policy on pokies for our district,” Hine Potaka says.

“Although it takes time, it does reduce the number of pokies as no new licenses for pokies can be issued and pokies can’t be transferred to a new pub or owner.”

However, both organisations agree that the Council should strengthen its sinking lid policy and prohibit venue relocation as a strong sinking lid would reduce the harm in Whanganui.

“There is a clear link between availability and accessibility of gambling and harmful gambling, so venues should not be allowed to relocate to another area,” Margaret Ryniker says.

In the last 12 months, $10,064,507.17 was lost on the 225 pokie machines in Whanganui’s 15 venues with each pokie machine taking a yearly average of $44,731.14 from its users.

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If you list all Territorial Local Authorities in New Zealand by how much the average pokie user spends each year, Wanganui District is number 22 out of 67.

If you want to have your say on Whanganui District Council’s gambling venues policy, visit the Council’s website http://wdc.whanganui.govt.nz/online/policysubmissions/gambling1017/
Submissions close at 4.00pm, Monday 30 October 2017.

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