March 28, 2018
Pokies predating poor communities
Maori public health body Hapai Te Hauora is backing a call by far north GP Lance O’Sullivan for gambling machines to be removed from poor communities.
Chief executive Lance Norman says Dr O’Sullivan’s observation that money taken out of the family budget for gambling is affecting the health of his patients confirms the experience of Hapai.
He says the gambling trusts target poorer communities and take their profits to spend on more affluent areas.
"Local government and central government have really let us down by allowing these machines to be so populated in our areas but also targeting our vulnerable communities who don’t or may not know these machines are bad for you, they may think it’s fun but actually it’s not fun, it’s harming our communities," Mr Norman says.
Hapai Te Hauora would like a sinking lid policy whereby if pokies taken out of a venue cannot be replaced or relocated.
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