'People who have lost everything' - Growing call for Gisborne to become pokie free

Protesters in Gisborne are calling for the region to become pokie free, saying their poorest communities have had enough.

Protesters in one of the city's poorest areas say their community has had enough. Source: 1 NEWS

Social worker Tuta Ngarimu says he sees the effects of problem gambling every day in his city.

"We're just worried about the harm gambling is doing especially in Kaiti," he told 1 NEWS.

His office is next to a TAB in a poor suburb in one of the country's most deprived areas.

"We're dealing with a lot of people who have lost everything as a result of gambling.They've lost their relationships, they've lost their homes their vehicles.

"And sadly they've lost their whanau," he said.

Some of the money taken in by the pokie machines is given to community groups, but protesters say this isn't enough as the nation continues to spend more on gaming every year.

The increases have seen gambling support groups more determined than ever to fight the gaming industry and take their message around the country.