When it comes to entertainment in New Zealand, pokies have become a popular form of leisure entertainment and many clubs and pubs depend on the income generated by the machines to cover their operating costs. However, several venues across Christchurch have refused to host pokies as part of a new campaign called ‘Proud to be Pokies-Free’.
Anglican Life and the Problem Gambling Foundation have joined forces to launch the campaign, which celebrates venues that refuse to host pokies. They want to show pub owners that they can be successful without poker machines, and many operators have already jumped on board with the campaign.
“We can rebuild our city without pokie machines,” said National Public Health Manager Tony Milne.
The campaign seems to be especially crucial in a city like Christchurch, which has the chance to rebuild itself. Now is the ideal time to start over, without a dependence on pokies – and Proud to be Pokies-Free aims to make that happen.
Currently, there are just five clubs across Christchurch which support the cause. However, it is likely that more will hop on board in the future.