TODAY |

Napier Council blocks new pokie machines in effort to curb gambling rise

Napier City Council has put a stop to all new gaming machines or venues from popping up around the city, in an effort to curb a spike in gambling. 

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With pokies venues closed, gambling addicts have been forced to take a break. Source: 1 NEWS

The city lost nearly $5.5 million to pokie machines during the three months of New Zealand's nationwide lockdown, one of the highest amounts on record. 

"We're seeing more and more wāhine coming in to use the machines, to escape situations happening at home," said Vicki Berkahn, Te Rangihaeata Oranga Trust spokesperson. 

Nationally, Kiwis lost $252 million in just the last quarter of 2020, which was the highest figure since records began. 

Now the new policy will put an end to all new pokies or venues from being replaced if they shut down. 

The local council is calling on Central Governmment to overhaul the gaming trust's system.