Press Release – No More Pokies
The ‘No More Pokies’ community coalition will be delivering thousands of written submissions to Auckland Council on Thursday at 1.30pm.
The Class 4 Gambling (Pokie) Venue Policy is being developed for Auckland Council to replace the policies of the seven legacy Territorial Local Authorities.
Tony Milne, National Manager of Public Health at the Problem Gambling Foundation, says in just six weeks the community coalition has collected more than 7000 submissions in favour of a ‘sinking lid’ on pokies for Auckland.
“This is the largest number of submissions ever submitted in favour of a “sinking lid” on pokies,” he says.
“The thousands of submissions send a powerful message to the Auckland Council that 4,059 pokie machines in pubs and clubs and 1647 in SkyCity Casino is more than enough for Auckland and Aucklanders don’t want any more.”
The ‘No More Pokies Auckland’ campaign, endorsed by more than 20 organisations, was launched on 18 January with the aim to encourage people to ‘say no to more pokies’ and ‘choose a sinking lid’ while Auckland Council consults on its gambling venue policy.
Tony Milne says they have been overwhelmed by the support for the campaign.
“Submissions came from every corner of Auckland – North, South, East, West, from old to young, organisations to individuals and all speaking with one resounding voice – “No more pokies, no more harm. We want a healthier future for our children.”
“The most powerful submissions come from people who have experienced the harm from pokie machines with personal accounts of lives that have been torn apart by pokie machines,” he says.
Tony Milne says a sinking lid is the best option the Council has under current legislation to keep the number of pokie machines down in Auckland.
“A sinking lid means no new licenses can be granted for pokie venues and machines can’t be transferred if a venue closes,” he says.
“That means that over time, the number of venues and pokie machines will reduce.”
Submissions on the proposed gambling venue policies close on Thursday 28 February at 4pm.
The No More Pokies Auckland campaign is endorsed by the following organisations:
The Anglican Diocese of Auckland, Asian Family Services at the Problem Gambling Foundation, Changing Minds, Child Poverty Action Group, Every Child Counts, the Gambling Helpline, Hapai Te Hauora Tapui Maori Public Health, Mapu Maia (Pasifika Unit at the Problem Gambling Foundation), the Mental Health Foundation of New Zealand, Methodist Mission Aotearoa, Otara Health Charitable Trust, Papakura Marae, Public Health Association (PHA), the Problem Gambling Foundation of New Zealand, the Salvation Army, South Auckland Family Violence Prevention Network (SAFVPN), South Seas Healthcare, Transitioning Out Aotearoa (TOA), UNICEF NZ and Whare Tiaki Hauora.