Press Release – Mana Party
“Pokies are still crippling our communities and the problem is getting dramatically worse in quake-ravaged Christchurch” says Mana’s Vice President John Minto.John Minto
MANA Vice President
27th January 2012
“Ban the Pokies”
“Pokies are still crippling our communities and the problem is getting dramatically worse in quake-ravaged Christchurch” says Mana’s Vice President John Minto.
The Department of Internal Affairs figures show money lost through pokies in Christchurch last year increased a whopping 9.4 per cent on the previous year to reach over $100 million ($101.3m) while national pokie losses increased by a much lower 3 percent.
It’s not surprising to see earthquake related stresses causing a rise in pokie losses in Christchurch because stress is what drives pokie losses everywhere.
Half the pokies are in the poorest third of our communities where stresses associated with poverty and desperation feed these rapacious machines.
How can this government sit by and allow pokie profits to rise when they know that those who are impoverished are the victims who gamble from a mixture of desperation and hopeless illusion?
Mana wants to see pokies banned from local communities. Giving locals the power of veto over machines in their community is the simple, democratic way to achieve this.
$866 million was sucked out of needy communities last year with each machine taking on average $48,000 net per year.
The $101.3 million lost in Christchurch is money that community can ill afford to lose.
However this government is known for putting profit before people and is currently negotiating with Auckland’s SkyCity to allow them 1,000 new pokie machines and relaxing the laws around marketing and promotion of pokies.
This is outrageous. Mana is not prepared to just endure another three years of exploitation by businesses that continue to pray on the stressed and vulnerable.
We will be stepping up our campaign to close the pokies.