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More pokies will equal more problems - Church

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

The Presbyterian Church today expressed its concern that more pokies will equal more problems for children and families of problem gamblers.

If passed into legislation, the international convention centre bill will see the introduction of cash-less technology for pokie machines, and more pokie machines as well as other forms of gaming.

Moderator of the Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand, the Rt Rev Ray Coster says that the Church does not accept the argument that the financial contributions pokie machines make to community activities justify their existence.

"The cash-less technology is more likely to be addictive, and even with the planned measures to counter excessive spending, commonsense tells us that more people will lose more money.

"This legislation will simply mean that more families and more communities will suffer the corrosive effects of problem gambling.

"As a Church we are a voice for the people in our communities who are negatively impacted by problem gambling.

"The social and financial cost to problem gamblers, their loved ones and the wider community, in our view, outweighs the economic benefit derived from the planned construction of the new convention centre.

"We have strong tradition of advocating for initiatives that strengthen families and communities across Aotearoa, and because of the impact on children and families we are expressing our concern over the passing of this legislation because it increases access to gambling.

"We would love to the see the government commit to putting more funding and resources into the area of problem gambling so that those impacted are able to get the help they need."

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