A new report has found pokies machines in small venues don’t offer the checks against problem gambling as those in casinos.
The Department of Internal Affairs employed a mystery shopper strategy using actors displaying the traits of problem gamblers.
Anthony Hawke, the Maori public health manager at Hapai Te Hauora, says the result was an indictment on the laws that allow the machines to go into bars and smaller clubs which don’t have the software and trained host responsibility staff available to larger venues.
The report found there were 450 gambling sites in areas of high deprivation areas and only 50 in low deprivation areas, showing the gamine industry targets those who can lease afford to lose
"In some of the suburbs in Auckland, and I say this all the time, it's a million dollars a month being spent on pokie machines in our communities. A million dollars. When we are here talking about homeless, poor nutrition for our kids and things like that ? but we are ok with taking a million dollars a month out of our communities through pokies ?" says Anthony Hawke from Hapai Te Hauora.