And still the discussion around pokies continues, should the Government allow Sky City Casino increase the number of pokie machines in ‘exchange’ for a convention centre – in short – NO.

Why – we know community groups, charities gain income from pokie machine operators, but what about the people using these machines – low income earners, the marginalized etc. In some cases the organizations gaining income from pokie revenue are the self same organizations saying we need help to improve the lives of the impoverished, the marginalized, so can’t go without the prospect of income derived from these machines.

Having met pub owners who have pokie machines and heard the income the earn, and how they feel about the machines being “beneficial” and “needed” – no this wasn’t in references to propping up their business, but to the needs in the community, the people benefit through the monies dsitrubuted, I, like Sir Bob am gob-smacked and repeat his words “What outrageous hogwash”.

If you’re an organization helping people who have alcohol, drug, gambling or other issues that can impact on the family’s wellbeing should you be calling on funds from pokies? 

Sure funds are needed, there’s no denying that – but there are other ways to go about gaining the funding needed to fulfill the purposes of an organization than putting the hand out to an organization(s) that encourage people to use hard earned, and in many situations, much needed money.

Organizations can work with their supporters to build income streams that will soon negate the need to source funds from sources that are not seen as ‘beneficial’ – who are pokies beneficial to, the pub owner, booze suppliers, are the really that beneficial to the wider community?

Sure, there will be argument that pokies generate jobs, that they generate income for the wider community, but these ‘benefits’ need to be weighed against the negative impact they also have. And, organizations dealing with community ‘issues’ need to think where the money the get for fulfilling their ‘function’ comes from. Is ‘dirty’ money what they really want to be associated with?

Bob Jones in the NZHerald Pokies nothing to do with charity 

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