$1m a month spent in deprived communities on pokie machines

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.