The area of Christchurch has been under a great deal of pressure lately. After the earthquake hit last year, problem gambling rates soared as residents looked for ways to deal with their pain and suffering. The government wants to enforce the area’s sinking lid policy, but gaming club operators want to replace broken machines – and some groups believe that pokies should be banned altogether.
One group to step forward and make its opinions known is a local Methodist mission. Spokesperson Mary Richard believes that the government should not only ban the installation of new poker machines but also remove all pokies that still remain in the city. She believes that the upholding of the sinking lid policy is a step in the right direction – but also that more could be done.
The group claims that poker machines are the most harmful form of gambling in Australian and New Zealand; however, research shows that this is not the case. Still, the Methodist mission continues to fight for the removal of all poker machines from Christchurch.
Brett Anderson of Christchurch Casino applauds Richardson’s ambitious plan, but find plenty of holes in it. With a great deal of public funding coming from gambling profits, he wonders how the city can compensate for that revenue.