Mega Tokoroa pokie venue on the way
‘‘I strongly believe there should of been public consultation and I especially believe there should be no increase to pokie numbers in Tokoroa,’’ she said.
Pockets 8 Ball Club manager Wendy Cook, who is also a district councillor, declared a conflict of interest and deferred to her lawyer Jarrod True for comment.
True disagreed with Young and said having machines in one location would help reduce problem gambling and boost Tokoroa’s CBD image.
‘‘Having the machines in one combined location makes it easier to monitor and control the gambling that is being undertaken. The single venue will have staff that are trained in harm minimisation, permanently located in the gaming room, whose sole job is to monitor and supervise the gaming area,’’ he said.
‘‘From a problem gambling viewpoint the number of venues, not the number of machines at each venue, is the real issue.’’
‘‘The Q-masters site is ideal for a combined club site due to its large site and the ample car parking available at the rear of the premises.’’
He said the combined venue will operate under Pockets.
‘‘As part of the redevelopment, Pockets 8 Ball Club would like to place large floodlights on the roof of the building and floodlight the public car park,’’ he said.
‘‘The club will also have security staff who will escort members to their vehicles at night and at its cost place two CCTV cameras on the roof of the Q-masters building which will provide 24 hour surveillance. [This] will make the large public car park one of the safest locations in town.’’
Senior Sergeant Jason Henderson said he had concerns as criminal activity in the South Waikato was often linked to gambling.
‘‘We do see evidence of criminal activity to fund gambling which is a concern,’’ he said.
‘‘In the last couple of weeks we have done a couple of drug search warrants. We removed four people from our community who were causing nothing but harm to us and one of those people essentially all they were doing was selling drugs to fund their gambling.’’
‘‘A lot of it comes down to responsible owners and managers. They will know who their problem gamblers are and as long as they look to be responsible under the act that will go a long way to reducing the harm but I don’t think it will stop it,’’ he said.