### NZ Herald Online 5:51 PM Monday Aug 11, 2014
Poor losing out on pokie cash
By David Fisher
Money tipped into pokie machines in the poorest parts of Auckland doesn’t come back to those communities in gaming grants, new data shows. In contrast, the wealthiest areas gamble far less but take a disproportionate amount of money out of other areas. This has been greeted as proof of a long-stated but never-proven claim about pokies – that the poor get poorer but the rich get richer. The Auckland Council research is behind a challenge to government plans to ringfence 80 per cent of pokie grant distribution inside large regional areas. Instead, it wants a special system for distributing pokie grants inside Auckland which will allow the poorest areas to benefit from money gambled locally. [...] Overall, the study found all of Auckland missed out to the benefit of the rest of New Zealand. The $214.6 million put into pokie machines would have made $61.6 million available for grants, on industry averages after expenses were taken out. Auckland got $35.2 million.
● David Fisher is a senior reporter for the NZ Herald.
Auckland Council Regional Strategy and Policy Committee
07 August 2014
Gambling Working Party – new regulations for the distribution of class 4 (pokie) gambling grants to communities
File No.: CP2014/14759
1. To report back on a gambling working party’s deliberations regarding new government regulations to control the distribution of grants from class 4 (commonly known as “pokie”) gambling, and present recommendations based on feedback from the working party.
2. The Minister of Internal Affairs has recently acquired the power to make new regulations specifying the amount of class 4 grants money that must be returned to the area from which it came, and to set out how areas will be identified and defined for that purpose
3. The Minister recently announced that regional council areas will be used as the areas into which grants must be distributed, and the rate of return to those areas will be 80%. New regulations implementing that decision are expected to be issued later this year.
4. A gambling working party, established by minute REG/2013/10, has reviewed information regarding class 4 gaming machine proceeds in Auckland, and the current rate of return of class 4 grant money by local board area.
5. The new regulations could increase the amount of grant money flowing to community and sport groups in Auckland as a whole, but there are significant inequities in the distribution of class 4 grants within the region that the Minister’s proposal would not overcome.
6. The working party has developed a proposal which would address those inequities by defining areas, within Auckland, for the return of class 4 gambling grants.
That the Regional Strategy and Policy Committee:
a) endorse the working party’s proposal to define areas within Auckland, as presented in the appended map, whereby a proportion of grants derived from the proceeds of class 4 gambling in those areas would be returned to them
b) endorse the option of advocating for a 90 percent return of grant money to the defined areas, instead of the 80 percent currently proposed by the Minister of Internal Affairs
c) endorse the option of advocating for a different rate of return to the area identified as CGI on the map (comprising the City Centre and Gulf Islands), of either 40 percent or 45 percent
d) delegate to the chair of the Regional Strategy and Policy Committee to write to the Minister of Internal Affairs advocating that the proposed regulations be amended in accordance with the committee’s response to recommendations (a) to (c) above
e) note that the grants data for Auckland will be published on a web portal
f) note that the findings of the working party will be reported to local boards.
Posted by Elizabeth Kerr