Sinking lid stance on pokies meets resistance

In a gambling policy meeting this week, which it holds every three years, the South Taranaki District Council proposed that the number of poker machines in the county be reduced from 154 to 140.  

The Taranaki District Health Board and Problem Gambling Foundation New Zealand want the number of machines reduced, claiming that over $5 million was lost on them in 2012 and that the poorer communities were the most likely to suffer.  However, the New Zealand Community Trust, New Zealand Racing Board, Lion Foundation, Pub Charity, and the South Taranaki Club countered that much of the revenue is returned to the community and that over $615,000 had been distributed to local sporting and community groups in Taranaki.  The council will make a decision on its gambling policy on October 9.