12 Aug 2014

Call for pokie overhaul in Auckland

4:36 pm on 12 August 2014

Auckland Council says the city's richest suburbs benefit most from poker machines, despite the poorest suburbs spending the most on them.

It's calling for the Government to change the laws governing pokie machines, so that proceeds from gaming machines are distributed within the city more fairly.

Auckland Council richest suburbs benefit most from pokie machines, despite poorest suburbs spending the most on them.

Auckland Council richest suburbs benefit most from pokie machines, despite poorest suburbs spending the most on them. Photo: PHOTO NZ

Councillor George Wood said the pokie laws do not suit Auckland.

The regulations say 80 percent of grant money coming from gaming needs to be returned to its region, but Mr Wood said Auckland needs different treatment.

He said the poorest local board areas are producing the most money from pokies, but receive a disproportionate share of the grants.

Mr Wood said this could be because groups in poorer areas are not applying for as many grants.

In the Mangere-Otahuhu Local Board area, only 22 percent of the money generated by the community comes back in grants.