Reducing the harm from pokies

UPDATE: Submissions have closed for this review. More details about the review are below.

You can read PGF Group's submission to the review by clicking here.

The Government wants to hear what you think about pokies so have your say before 28 April 2022.

They are open to any useful ideas, but have suggested three areas that they want to focus on:

  • How can we make pokie venues safer (pubs, clubs, TABs)?
  • How can we make pokie machines safer?
  • How can we strengthen penalties and enforcements?

More details about the review, areas of focus and suggestions are at the Department of Internal Affairs (DIA) website

“Reducing the harm pokies are causing in our communities is something I care deeply about.”

“Pokies are the most harmful form of gambling in Aotearoa New Zealand."

"One in five pokie players are considered at-risk gamblers.”

“Gambling harm presents a widespread risk but tends to affect those who can least afford it. This includes our Māori and Pacific communities, who may already be experiencing financial or social challenges.” - Hon Jan Tinetti, Minister of Internal Affairs, 2022
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Did you know?

  • Every year New Zealanders lose nearly $1 billion on pokies in pubs, clubs and TABs
  • Over 60% of pokie venues are in our most deprived communities
  • Over 30% of money lost on pokies comes from people experiencing harm from gambling
  • Pokies are designed to be addictive – they play havoc with the reward systems in our brains

What does PGF think?

Our focus remains on enhancing the mana of individuals, families and communities to be free from gambling harm:

“Since the introduction of the Act in 2003, the emphasis on harm minimisation and prevention has been downplayed and weakened. This erosion has come through a series of applications and appeals to the Gambling Commission and to the Department of Internal Affairs itself for license changes, rule changes and the overturning of decisions on venue relocations.”
“These successive decisions have undermined, in some cases, policy decisions made by Territorial Local Authority elected representatives, many of whom feel their hands are tied.” - PGF Group, Briefing to the Incoming Minister, 2020

Why do we need change?

We need to close up all the gaps in our current regulations. Paul Barrett’s story tells you why we need change and how the court case exposed some of those gaps. Read Paul's story here.

How can my voice be heard?

The most important thing you can do is make a submission before 28 April 2022.

You can complete the feedback form on the DIA website or you can email submission directly to

If you prefer, you can give your feedback to us directly, which we can use in our submission. Click here to complete our feedback form.

A hard copy of our feedback form (and fact sheet) is available by clicking here.