Other local authorities are being urged to follow the lead of Hamilton City Council and stop funding projects from the proceeds of pokies.
Problem Gambling Foundation chief executive Paula Snowden says Hamilton’s decision showed leadership and integrity, and she hopes others follow suit.
She says Mayor Andrew King’s comment about the harm that pokies cause is spot on.
“We know that pokie machines in the clubs and pubs are most often in the poorest communities and cause the greatest gambling harm to individuals, families and communities,” she said.
The foundation acknowledged the worthwhile causes that used pokie funding but it was money coming from the pockets of those that could least afford it.
There was one machine for every 465 people in wealthy areas of New Zealand, but the ratio in more deprived areas was one to 75.
Hamilton council voted 8-3 in favour of ceasing to continue to fund projects from pokie proceeds.
A report to councillors showed that, since 2010, the council has received $385,000 from gaming trusts for projects.