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Dunedin Community Reconsiders Pokies Policies

Dunedin Community Reconsiders Pokies PoliciesA community group in Dunedin, New Zealand, are reconsidering a previously decided policy regarding Poker machines. Not long ago it was determined by the group that they would not accept any funding, if that money had been collected from an electronic Poker machine, or pokies machine. But upon other fund raising methods falling through, the group now has to reconsider their decision.

No outcomes are yet being hinted at, but the general meeting of the community and the group, called the Valley Project, will be held on June 19th, with the primary focus on being if the policy should be partially, or entirely, changed. Prior to current financial problems, the Valley Project existed exclusively on funding from the government, with the annual budget being around NZ$215,000. The sole purpose of the community group is providing food and shelter for families in need, encompassing the North East Valley region.

A Money Paradox

Speaking on the matter was Tess Trotter, manager of the community project. She admitted that much trouble had been faced in finding the needed money; due mainly to the policy adopted of not accepted any cash generated by electronic Poker machines. She said that the group was of the belief that the machines caused much of the problems they sought to remedy, creating a difficult conundrum.

But she now concluded that, given the situation that she and the Valley Project faced, they were being forced into reconsidering the previously decided on policy. Though she would only change the verdict with unanimous blessing from the public at large.

Communities Don’t Mind

In order to prepare for the meeting, Trotter took steps to assess local sentiment on the situation. Taking into account that only 100 were asked, the results were still very telling. Only 7.7% said that funding obtained from gambling was unacceptable. 45.1% said that they did not mind where the funding came from, including from electronic Poker machines. The biggest part of the group, 47.3%, concluded that it was the Chief Executive Officer who should make the decision, not the public itself.

Steve Tripp, Chairman of the group, made an additional statement that the Valley Project would survive without the desired funds, but that effectiveness would be drastically reduced. Fiona Cambridge, a counsellor at the Problem Gambling Foundation, on the other hand, declared that accepting the money would not outweigh the harm created collecting it.

The final decision will be made at the upcoming meeting, but sings point to the money being accepted on the basis of the good it will do in the North East Valley area.

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