February 12, 2018
Pokies poor way to fund community
The chief executive of the Problem Gambling Foundation says the way community activities are funded out of gambling is wrong and needs to change.
The foundation is sharing its views at this week's International Gambling Conference at AUT University.
Paula Snowden says gambling is often the tip of an iceberg of problems, with pokies encouraging the false hope that poverty, loneliness, and other problems can disappear with a session on the pokies.
She says it strips money from poor whanau and communities.
"In the poorest communities of Aotearoa there is one machine for very 71 people and in the richest areas there is one machine for every 465 people so who is putting the money into community funding? The poorest people of New Zealand who can least afford it, because the machines are addictive. We want New Zealand to take it seriously, the change the model, and deal with the machine density," Ms Snowden says.
Little of the money from gambling trusts goes to sports and causes that benefit the communities where the money comes from.
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