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Pokie-free and proud of it campaign

Media release

22 November 2013

Campaign will showcase venues that are pokie-free and proud of it

"After more than 15 years in the industry, I can honestly say, that being a 'pokie-free' bar is the only way I would have it”.

That statement was made by Michael Meharg, owner of Nineteen Eighty One Bar and Restaurant in Manukau, where the Problem Gambling Foundation will launch a campaign that showcases venues that have chosen not to install pokie machines, on Thursday 28 November starting at 7pm.

Nineteen Eighty One Bar and Restaurant was chosen as the venue for the launch because it is ‘pokie- free and proud of it’.

Michael Meharg believes that the local pub should be a meeting place for friends and family.

“At Nineteen Eighty One we have strived to enhance the experience for our customers by providing a pool table, table tennis, and 'old school' arcade games,” he says.

“Our customer base loves theme parties. We have hosted some of Manukau's biggest nights in recent years with Halloween parties including extra horror experiences, and summer parties with nine tons of sand dumped on our back deck.”

The Our Place is Proudly Pokie-Free campaign follows the success of the 2012 Christchurch campaign which was launched after the devastating earthquakes as a way of supporting positive places and building strong communities.

The Problem Gambling Foundation says although Auckland Council recently introduced a ‘sinking lid’ policy for pokie machines, there are still many places in Auckland where pokies are prevalent and it’s often hard to escape them.

The campaign aims to change that by providing participating venues with a prominent orange sticker to display near their door and a listing on the website www.proudlypokiefree.org.nz, profiling the venue and what makes them such a great place to visit.

The launch on Thursday 28 November will include live music, speeches and refreshments at Nineteen Eighty One Bar and Restaurant, 712 Great South Road, Manukau opposite the Westfield Mall and diagonally opposite Rainbow’s End.


© Scoop Media

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