The Council took a stand on this issue showing real leadership and integrity and we would like to see all territorial local authorities do likewise.
Stuff reported that Hamilton Mayor, Andrew King, told councillors, ‘be under no illusion, pokie machines cause harm.’
We couldn’t agree more and applaud the council for its strong stance.
Pokie machines in clubs and pubs are predominantly situated in our struggling communities and cause the greatest gambling harm to individuals, families and the community. In wealthy areas, there is one pokie machine for every 465 people and in more deprived areas there is one pokie machine for every 75 people.
Councils have the authority to determine numbers of machines in their region and given the money these machines generate there is an inherent conflict of interest if councils benefit from grants derived from those same machines.
Mayor King described this in the media as ‘Council being the gamekeeper and poacher because it has a role in regulating pokie machines but benefits from grants’.
PGF has called on all councils to follow Hamilton City Council’s lead on this issue.
Good on you Hamilton City Council!