Jack Tame: Gambling reforms miss the biggest problem with pokies
The Government announced a review of pokies and the Gambling Act. The reforms are much weaker than what was initially proposed. There will be no cuts to pukie jackpots, no ban on free rolls and softer penalties for pub owners who don't follow the rules. Changes concern where poko and ATMs can be positioned in a pub and rules about how pub owner should check for and treat problem gamblers. The chairman of the Gaming Machine Association said the changes didn't go far enough. He suggested facial recognition software to identify problem gamblers should be introduced across New Zealand. Under the law, a minimum of 40 per cent of a pooka's profits have to be returned to the community as charitable grants.
Jack Tame thinks gambling reforms are a start but the whole structure has to change.