New Zealand Clubs and Pubs to “Pause the Pokies” for Gambling Awareness


In excess of 70 social outlets (pubs and clubs) across New Zealand have pledged to “pause the pokies” for an hour a day as part of Gambling Harm Awareness week. The social initiative which promotes gambling addiction awareness is due to take between 3 and 9 September.


The “Pause the Pokies” action is being coordinated by several parties with first-hand experience with gambling addiction in New Zealand, including the Problem Gambling Foundation, Asian Family Services and Mapu Maia, among others.

“Pause the Pokies” Initiative Comes After New Stats Revealed

The “Pause the Pokies” call to awareness comes after the Problem Gambling Foundation released new statistics detailing how exactly gambling was affecting New Zealand communities as a whole. It was stated that more than three-quarters of the nation gamble in some way or another at least once a year and that the most harmful form of gambling was that of pokies, which are easily available in many popular social areas.

The group’s study found that pokie machines were involved in more than 60% of the problem gambling cases they were involved with. Although the initiative will see pokies turned off for only an hour a day, the group is hoping that the action will at least lead some potential problem gamblers to take a break from playing.

It was also revealed that total money lost due to gambling for the year 2017 amount somewhere around AU$2.33 billion, which is a far cry from the AU$24 Billion lost by Australians in the same period, but still very worrying.

As most New Zealand pokie machines are located in pubs and clubs, perhaps the Problem Gambling Foundation may actually prove to be effective, but this still remains to be seen.

Here at, we urge players to gamble responsibly. If you want some more tips and strategies for how you can do just that, be sure to check out our responsible gambling page.