New Pokie Law in the Works
SkyCity pokies are a popular option with gamblers and other casinos in the area see just as many pokie players hitting the gaming floors on a regular basis. These games run at all times, but this may change if the Labour internal affairs have anything to do with it. A spokesman for the group, Trevor Mallard, has stated that a new law is being proposed that will shut the games down from 4am to 9am every day.

The Gambling Harm reduction Amendment bill would have a slight change which would make the gambling laws coincide with liquor laws. The new law would apply to all gambling games, not just pokies and would be put in place to reduce player harm. Mallard stated that the amendment would break up the 24 hour operations. Since some players are playing day and night, it can help to break the cycle of gambling.

Mallard will be working to gain support for his bill and says he expects the Labour MPs to be in favor. As of now, Mallard has not approached anyone for support but plans on working hard to help the bill gain traction.

However, the bill made end up costing money. SkyCity negotiated a compensation clause when applying for licensing. This clause could see the group earning money for having to shut down gaming for a certain time period. This clause is in effect for the next seven years.

The pokies are a constant problem with gamblers as they are highly addictive and the option of having the games available for hours on end does not help with gambling addiction. It will be interesting to see if the bill does gain traction or if it falls flat. Only time will tell if the pokie gaming options will change or remain the same.

- 2013-08-14

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