In defense of New Zealand’s pokies

Originally Posted on Sunday Jun 12 16:37:00 BST 2011

An hotel proprietor in New Zealand has spoken up about the bad press pokies sometimes get.

She said that the machines in the hotel were enjoyed by many people, usually as a way of relieving stress, but also by women who come out with their husbands for the evening.  Women tend to be the drivers, so while the man enjoys a few drinks, the women pass the time on the pokies.

She claims that most of their customers are regulars, who may put in around $20, and when that runs out, they just give up.

The only time all the machines are used at the same time is if the jackpot is high.

Although it is gambling, it is usually played for relaxation and fun.  Free spins provide the interest and excitement.

Defending venues that have pokie machines she says that staff and management are well trained in harm minimization, and can spot any potential problems very quickly.

It is against the law for someone who is playing the pokies to leave children in the car outside, so it is important that staff keep a close eye on that aspect too.

There are arguments raised continually about how much of a problem gaming machines are, but it is generally accepted that the majority of people using the machines will not develop a problem, but the few who do are a danger to themselves and their families.  With online pokies becoming more and more popular too, it could be a difficult thing to control.

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