28 Oct 2011

Support for stance against pokies

6:35 am on 28 October 2011

The Problem Gambling Foundation is backing a call by Mana leader Hone Harawira for the community's right to outlaw gaming machines (pokies).

Mr Harawira says the gambling machines cause misery for whanau in poor communities and, given the choice, most would ban them.

Foundation chief executive Graeme Ramsey says he supports that view.

He says pokies take $850 million a year out of New Zealand communities and too many machines are located in poor areas.

Mr Ramsey says the grants that come back to community groups don't justify the harm done.

He says groups who benefit from the grants from this form of gambling, should consider that 40% of pokies profits come from people with a problem.