GAMBLING

People of Porirua speak out against pokies in their community

Monday 15 February 2010, 11:58AM
By PGFNZ
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PORIRUA

Hundreds of Porirua residents are having their say to make sure no more pokie machines are brought into their community.

More than 340 submissions were delivered to Porirua City Council on Thursday 11 February advocating for a "sinking lid" policy for pokies.

Katherine Reweti from the Problem Gambling Foundation says the only way to guarantee that there will be fewer pokies in the community is through a ‘sinking lid’ policy.

“Under a ‘sinking-lid policy’, there can be no new pokie machines or pokie venues and machines can’t be moved when a venue shuts,” she says.

Recent research has shown that for every 10 additional pokie machines there will be eight new problem gamblers.

“People are really ‘wising up’ to pokies and realising the harm that can be caused by these dangerous products,” Katherine says.

“The people of Porirua have had their say and they don’t want any more pokies in their community.”

The submissions, in response to the council's gambling policy venue review, come as figures show the machines have sucked over $12million from the people of Porirua over the last year.

Many organisations made submissions, including the Problem Gambling Foundation, Awhina Wahine, Tumai mo te Iwi PHO, Taeomanino Trust, Porirua Safer Communities and others.