Toko­roa gam­ing venue looks at TAB

South Waikato News - - Front Page - LUKE KIRKEBY *Con­tin­ued P3

TAB fa­cil­i­ties may be on the table at Toko­roa’s con­tro­ver­sial new mega gam­ing venue.

In Oc­to­ber Stuff re­vealed that Pock­ets 8 Ball Club’s Shotz out­let, The Olde Es­tab­lish­ment, and the Pu­taruru Dis­trict Ser­vices Me­mo­rial Club were merg­ing to es­tab­lish a new venue with 30 pokie ma­chines un­der the Pock­ets 8 Ball Club um­brella in Bridge St, the heart of Toko­roa’s CBD.

Due to its lo­ca­tion and the South Waikato’s over $7 mil­lion in gam­bling losses in the past 12 months, the move caused pub­lic out­cry

Pock­ets 8 Ball Club man­ager and dis­trict coun­cil­lor Wendy Cook has now con­firmed the venue is also in talks with the New Zealand Rac­ing Board over of­fer­ing TAB fa­cil­i­ties.

The move may re­sult in the clo­sure of the Toko­roa TAB in Man­ner­ing St.

‘‘I have got noth­ing more to add as they haven’t made a de­ci­sion yet,’’ she said.

New Zealand Rac­ing Board head of com­mu­ni­ca­tions Kate Richards said a de­ci­sion was likely to be made in the com­ing days.

‘‘Our re­tail team...think they will have a de­ci­sion on a po­ten­tial new fa­cil­ity in Toko­roa at the end of next week,’’ she said.

Of­fer­ing fur­ther op­por­tu­ni­ties to gam­ble in such a prom­i­nent lo­ca­tion has an­gered 2014 New Zealan­der of the Year Dr Lance O’sul­li­van, who pro­vides dig­i­tal health care to chil­dren in Toko­roa.

‘‘This is dis­grace­ful. The next thing we will know is they will be hav­ing a cafe in there and be hav­ing child­care fa­cil­i­ties. This is how per­va­sive th­ese or­gan­i­sa­tion are,’’ he said.

O’sul­li­van said the South Waikato Dis­trict Coun­cil shouldn’t have signed off site ap­proval for the pokie venue merger due to Toko­roa be­ing a low so­cioe­co­nomic com­mu­nity.

‘‘This is clas­sic preda­tory be­hav­iour in com­mu­ni­ties of great need,’’ he said.

‘‘When do you see a gam­bling out­let with 30 ma­chines in St He­liers or Mis­sion Bay? You don’t.

‘‘It is un­ac­cept­able for the coun­cil to say it can’t do any­thing about it,’’ he said.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.