Last week the Rawene Masonic Hotel, situated in Northland, issued a notice on their Facebook page that they would be removing all gaming machines from their venue. The decision came in the wake of an event in which a young girl had left her child in a baby capsule outside while she entered the establishment to play on the gaming machines.
This week the Department of Internal Affairs released the figures on proceeds from pub and club gambling machines in the first quarter of 2018. From January 1 to March 31, $212 million was generated from pokies, a 2.3% increase on the same period in 2017.
"This is disappointing news," says Lance Norman, Chief Executive Officer for Hāpai Te Hauora. "Even with sinking lid policies, a reduction in gaming venues, machines and licence holders, pokie machines are taking more and more money away from families and out of our communities."
The Kaitaia-based GP raised concerns at the International Gambling conference earlier this year that gambling harm was apparent in his clinic on a daily basis.
Kaitaia based GP, and former New Zealander of the Year, Dr. Lance O’Sullivan, has raised concerns about gambling harm experienced within Northland communities and is calling on the government to take action.
The Lotteries Commission (Lotto) recently released an augmented reality (AR) app to coincide with Chinese New Year. The app links to an instant kiwi 'scratchie' which is purchased at retail outlets.
Former New Zealander of the year Dr Lance O’Sullivan will present a key note speech at the International Gambling Conference next week, highlighting the relationship between gambling and the day to day work of a GP in a community affected by diseases of poverty.
A pou sharing the thoughts of Te Atatu Intermediate School students about gambling in their communities will be on display in Mangere today as part of an event to mark Gamble Harm Awareness week.
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.
This week the Department of Internal Affairs released the results of the "mystery shopper" audit of pokie venues. Casinos and smaller clubs and societies known as 'Class 4' venues were visited by actors trained to mimic problem gambling behaviour. The interactions with staff were evaluated to test venue compliance against regulatory requirements.
Australia leads by example in gambling harm reduction measures in the 2017 Budget. Hāpai Te Hauora and The Salvation Army urge Communications Minister Simon Bridges to consider similar regulatory interventions here.