Are Pokies An Essential Part of Life in New Zealand?
A recent report in The Northern Advocate expresses the opinion of a New Zealand pub owner, who believes that poker machines are not only an important part of life in New Zealand; he also believes that they benefit society.
Peter Gardner, Manager of the Grand Hotel in central Whangarei, believes that poker machines are beneficial to society as a whole in New Zealand. While politicians are working on ways to reduce their numbers, Gardner believes that the poker machine market should not be altered, as it presents more benefits to the community than downfalls.
Gardner does not believe that poker machines are to blame for rising problem gambling rates. However, he does ensure that he, as a pub manager, takes responsibility for his customer’s behaviour:
“We literally go up to them and say, ‘Hey, you can’t afford what you’re doing, you’ve been in here for two hours, time to go’.”
The pub manager is also a firm believe that pokies contribute to the fabric of society. Unlike other forms of gambling, pokies profits are pumped back into the community, providing funding for sports, arts, education and medical programs. Without poker machines, Gardner believes that these organizations will suffer.