NZ facing calls for tougher gambling to protect Pacific peoples

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New Zealand is facing calls for tougher gambling legislation to protect Pacific peoples (Pasifika), who are seen as being a greater risk from gambling harm. 

Gerhart Berking, a spokesman for gambling support service Mapu Maia, has urged other councils to follow Christchurch’s example in adopting a policy to change gambling environments, local media reports. 

Christchurch has a so-called “sinking lid” policy on pokie machines, under which once a gambling venue closes, permission will not be given for another to reopen.

Pasifika people in New Zealand make up 21 percent of all people seeking help for problem gambling, the report said.