18 Jul 2009

Gaming machines still a problem in poorest communities

6:16 am on 18 July 2009

The amount being spent on pokies is at a seven year low, but gaming machines continue to be a problem in the poorest communities.

While Manukau City has a sinking lid policy to reduce the number of machines, Zoe Martin, the kaiwhiriwhiri kaupapa for problem gambling at Auckland Maori health organisation Hapai Te Hauora, says other councils have been slow to follow.

She says the accessiblity of pokies is a challenge for Maori fighting the addiction.

Zoe Martin told Waatea News that too much of the $900 million which went through machines last year, came from Maori in the mistaken belief that gambling is a way out of financial strife.