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Kiwi pub shutting pokies for a day

Wed, Aug 28, 8:20am by Staff Writer

A pub in New Zealand is putting a pause on its pokies for a day during Gambling Harm Awareness Week.

The Fitzroy Tavern in Wainuiomata is pausing its pokies for a whole day during Gambling Harm Awareness week in early September, and is challenging other pubs and clubs to do the same.

Scoop reports that the owner and manager of the Fitzroy Tavern Hayden Wilby says he will turn the pokies off in his bar for all of Monday, September 2 to launch the awareness-raising week.

“We’ve taken part in the pause the pokies campaign for a couple of years now, and it’s time to raise the bar,” he said.

“I know many pubs turn off their pokies first thing on a Monday. It’s great they’re taking part, but I want to challenge them to turn off their pokies for a whole day.”

Spokesperson for the Problem Gambling Foundation Andree Froude says pausing pokies is especially helpful for people experiencing harmful gambling, as it encourages them to think about how much time and money is being spent and lost on pokie machines.

“This is an awareness raising campaign to help communities and patrons reflect on their gambling and to encourage change where gambling has become a problem for the gambler and their families.”

“It also gives us an opportunity to engage with venues that have pokies and discuss the signs of gambling harm, and importantly, how to make host responsibility work in practice.”

Andree Froude said that over 60 venue are signed up this year so far and many more are expected.

“Rotorua-based One Foundation, formerly First Sovereign Trust Limited, and the Invercargill Licencing Trust, have coordinated all their venues to pause their pokies, so it’s great to see them supporting this important campaign to raise awareness of gambling harm in New Zealand.”

Pause the Pokies is a national campaign run by several gambling harm service providers around the country.

Last year more than 80 venues paused their pokies for an hour or more during Gambling Harm Awareness Week.

Events and activities take place around the country during the week, which is held in the first week of September every year.

One in five New Zealand adults is affected at some time in their lives by their own gambling or someone else’s.

Gisborne discussing new gaming restrictions

A raft of new restrictions on gaming machines in the New Zealand town of Gisborne are being discussed.

Aimed at minimizing the negative impacts of problem gambling, the draft policy on gambling proposed by the district council prohibits the relocation of gambling venues and limits the number of racing board venues to only one.

Local authorities in the Gisborne District are currently reviewing the Gambling Venue policy as required by the Gambling Act 2003 and Racing Act 2003.

A public hearing on the proposed changes is scheduled for Wednesday, 8 May, when community members and all parties involved will be able to comment on the updated policy that seeks to reduce the rates of compulsive gambling in the region.

There are currently 12 class four gambling venues across the Gisborne District, which is home to 180 machines.

According to the latest class four gambling report published by the Department of Internal Affairs in 2017, there were 4.1 electronic gaming machines per 1000 people in Gisborne.

This figure is the average prevalence when compared to other districts.

Auckland has the lowest with just 2.4 machines per 1000 people, while the West Coast had a record 7.1 pokies per 1000 residents.

The new proposal of the Gisborne District Council does not reduce the number of machines.

It maintains the so-called sinking lid policy that is currently applied to class four machines and expand it to include a number of racing board venues if allowed.

Currently there is just one TAB in Gisborne and if the changes come in to effect, this venue would not be allowed to relocate.

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