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No luck for Pasifika people struggling with gambling - NZ First

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Less than a year after the Government openly backed the expansion of pokie machines and gaming tables at SkyCity, they have rolled the dice against Pasifika people struggling with gambling addiction, says New Zealand First.

"Vulnerable families in Pasifika communities are being forsaken as the National Government slashes services dealing with gambling problems," says Spokesperson for Social Policy and Pacific Island Affairs Le’aufa’amulia Asenati Lole-Taylor

"Work with problem gamblers is being drastically reduced and will end in heartache for whole communities.

"One service that helped more than 12,000 people is about to shut its doors. Since 2009, Mapu Maia has been essential in educating Pacific communities about gambling harm and assisting sufferers in their recovery.

"Pasifika have become the most at-risk ethnicity to develop compulsive gambling behaviour. This is in addition to other social problems like drug and alcohol issues.

"Many Pacific people often turn to gambling when they are unemployed and need money to fulfil traditional obligations, but they have false expectations about what they can get from it.

"The Government’s thoughtless move only adds to the cycle of child poverty, domestic violence and crime, which are inextricably linked to this gambling epidemic.

"They are ignoring the needs of vulnerable families while the gambling industry continues to line the pockets of the rich," says Mrs Lole-Taylor.

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