NZ Local Council Explores New Pokie Policy

New pokie
New Zealand’s tribal Whangãrei District Council has issued an invitation for public commentary with regards to the implementation of its proposed Class 4 Gambling Venue Policy. The policy seeks to authorise the establishment of non-casino electronic gambling machines. The district has said that it hopes that this will leverage the moving away from casino pokies as favourite form of entertainment in the region.

Council has also emphasised the fact that the implementation of the new policy isn’t intended make void its “sinking lid policy”. The policy regulates electronic Poker machines and has placed a hold on any additional pokie-parlours being opened in the region.

Gambling And The Maori

A national study in the country has revealed that problem gambling impacts the Maori people in a very negative manner. The study was launched in the hopes that it would be able to identify specific risk factors related to problem gambling, and especially so among the Maori people. Some of the factors that were identified as extremely high-risk were unemployment and extreme poverty.

The study revealed a number of interesting tendencies, such as the fact that every problem gambler has an estimated impact on 5 to 10 other individuals as well as on their general quality of life and state of mental health. An eye-opener was that 1 in 12 people admitted to, at some point, not having been able meet their financial obligations, or even purchase essential items, as a direct result of their over-spending when playing pokies.

The report was published right around the time when it was confirmed that taxes levied on alcohol, tobacco and gambling, cost the Maori people in excess of NZ$1 billion last year alone.

Hoping For A Positive Impact

New Zealand’s Maori people are of the country’s poorest, and yet they continue to spend money on gambling games and pokies. According to recent statistics released by the New Zealand Department of Internal Affairs, the Maoris’ unhealthy spending has increased considerably since 2017. During the second quarter of 2018 alone, the Maori people spent an estimated NZ$8.4 million on playing pokies. This marks an increase of NZ440, 000 when the figure is compared to what was spent during the same period in 2017.

It will be interesting to see what the effect of the sinking lid policy will be on New Zealand’s poorer communities.