Tokoroa pokie increase causes concerns
Locals are outraged Tokoroa could soon have a new site with 30 pokie machines.
One advocate argues it's completely unjustifiable and the wellbeing of the Tokoroa community is not being prioritised.
The Pockets 8 Ball Club has been granted permission to expand their pokies section by merging with other clubs.
According to club manager Wendy Cook, the application was accepted by council and Department of Internal Affairs.
35% of the population of Tokoroa is Māori and there are many who live in poverty.
Some, like Andree Froud of Problem Foundation Gambling, are concerned it could get worse.
“I think because it’s in a high deprivation community having 30 machines in one venue is going to create more harm. This is a community already losing $5 million a year on pokie machines and that’s a significant amount of money.”
The number of pokie machines in Tokoroa will increase to 133.