NZ Considering Sinking Lid Pokie Policy

Tisha Walden | 30 Jul 2019

pokiesNew Zealand’s Tasman District has issued an invitation has announced that it now considers a complete sinking lid policy to be the only remaining remedy for the region’s pokie Pub problems. Problem gambling is according to a district spokesperson getting out of hand and to such an extent that lawmakers no longer consider the current restrictions to be effective.  Lawmakers have said that despite the inevitable public outcry that is bound to ensue following such a decision,  moving away from casino pokies as the number 1 form of entertainment in the region appears to be the only real solution to the region’s pokie-troubles.

The sinking lid policy, if passed successfully, will replace the previously implemented restriction on new pokie machines being installed, including the moratorium on the relocation of pokie machines without the necessary consents from local government (signed into force in 2010).

The High-Risk Groups

Last year, a national study revealed that problem gambling impacts a worrying number of New Zealand nationals, but especially so the Maori people, and people living in the Asian and Pacific regions. The study identified specific risk factors related to problem gambling, and especially so among people from the mentioned regions. Some of the factors that were identified as extremely high-risk  were unemployment and poverty.

The study also revealed other tendencies, such as the fact that every person experiencing an unhealthy relationship with problem gambling, in turn has an estimated impact on 5 to 10 other individuals, including their quality of life and their state of mental health. What’s more, 1 in 12 people at the time admitted to not having been able meet their financial obligations at some point in the past, and in more extreme cases, not having been able to come by essential items necessary for everyday survival, as a direct result of the pokie spending habits. This is a very troubling outcome indeed, because the Maori people are New Zealand’s poorest citizens.

Have Your Say On August 9

But not everyone considers a sinking lid policy to be the best way forward in order to circumnavigate the negative effects that pokies are having on the lives of individuals. The problem is that pokie pubs make regular contributions towards all manners of local charities, and if canned altogether, will have a very negative impact on various aid and relief organisations.

The sinking lid draft policy will be opened for public review on August 9.