In a recent report, it has been revealed that New Zealanders have lost $250 million on poker machines over the course of the last year. This statistics have come as a shock to the local community, especially since Sky City has been granted the right to install 350 to 500 new poker machines in return for building the city’s new convention centre.
The New Zealand Problem Gambling Foundation released these numbers, illustrating that problem gambling is becoming a serious issue in the country’s biggest city. What is more concerning, however, is that only a small portion of the money lost on poker machines is actually pumped back into the community.
According to the report, between $55 million and $95 million is returned to the community, less than 50% of the profits generated by poker machines. Of that, most of the money is presented to sports-related organizations, which receive $21 million in funding. Arts and community services receive less than $5 million combined.
As such, now seems to be the perfect time for the upcoming gambling study. It will examine the social impact of poker machines and poker machine funding for charities, providing some much-needed insight on the market.