Activists want judicial review of Tokoroa pokies

Around 75 percent of slot machines in south Waikato are in Tokoroa.
Around 75 percent of slot machines in south Waikato are in Tokoroa. Photo credit: The Hui

An anti-gambling group wants pokie machines out of Tokoroa.

A group of residents in the small south Waikato town are threatening to take the Government to court if it allows a license to add another 30 slot machines to a venue.

"I'm saying to the minister, 'Please don't approve this site. Please stop the pokie madness in the community,'" said Feed Families Not Pokies spokesman Colin Bridle.

Andree Froude from Problem the Gambling Foundation says pokies are ruining small towns.

"In Tokoroa, over $5 million was lost on pokies in a year - that is a significant amount of money that is being sucked out of that community."

Ms Froude says gambling is harmful for children, because money to feed them is pumped into machines instead.

"They fuel poverty… people can't afford to put food on the table, children are going off to school hungry. In a town like Tokoroa, unfortunately that's where we see so many pokie machines."

Around 75 percent of slot machines in south Waikato are in Tokoroa.

"They don't want to see a pokie den when they know very well the harm those machines are causing," says Ms Froude.

More than 2400 people have signed a petition against the new licence. Feed Families Not Pokies is hoping to raise $100,000 through a Givealittle page for a judicial review. As of Sunday morning, they had raised $218.

Newshub.