Gaming association hits back at report claiming pokie machines harm retail sector

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Tue, 11 Aug 2020, 7:02PM
(Photo / File)

Gaming association hits back at report claiming pokie machines harm retail sector

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Tue, 11 Aug 2020, 7:02PM

The association that represents pokie machine operators has slammed a new report from the NZIER.

The NZIER has suggested if household spending on class four pokies was diverted to other uses, the retail sector could gain nearly $450 million a year.

NZIER principal economist Sarah Hogan says that the country could be looking at upwards of 1100 full time equivalent jobs.

Mike Knell, the acting chair of the Gaming Machine Association of New Zealand, told Heather du Plessis-Allan that the report is an incorrect generalisation. 

He says that the report is a one-sided view, having been commissioned by the Problem Gambling Association, and the argument is quite naive.

"If you think you can change consumer behaviour, demand and supply simply like that, I'd like to see the recipe for that to happen."

Knell also does not believe the report's claims about new jobs being created from the money being diverted towards retail. 

He says gaming trusts distribute over $22 million into supporting jobs in sport, hospice and community sectors.

"That equates to about 1200 jobs a year that would be lost."