Pokie machines ring alarm bells

19:35, Dec 16 2012

Whangarei's Gambling Action Group says it has good community support against a change in policy that could see pokie machines move into Whangarei suburbs.

The Whangarei District Council is considering ditching its sinking lid policy on gaming machines and changing it to a capped policy where a limited number of new pokie machines can be introduced.

Group spokeswoman Ngaire Rae says the proposed change is alarming, because the aim of the sinking lid policy is for the number of machines to slowly decrease over time.

"The capped policy means machine numbers could increase beyond their current level, and those machines could be relocated to venues closer to our homes, schools and children.

"It signals the beginning of a downward slide and the good ground gained over recent years in terms of reduced machine numbers will be lost."

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