The Fitzroy Tavern in Wainuiomata is pausing its pokies for a whole day during Gambling Harm Awareness Week (2-8 September) and is challenging other pubs and clubs to do the same.
Hayden Wilby, owner and manager of the Fitzroy Tavern in Wainuiomata, says he will turn the pokies off in his bar for all of Monday 2 September to launch the awareness-raising week.
"We've taken part in the Pause the Pokies campaign for a couple of years now, and it's time to raise the bar." he said.
"I know many pubs turn off their pokies first thing on a Monday. It's great they're taking part, but I want to challenge them to turn off their pokies for a whole day."
Andree Froude, spokesperson for the Problem Gambling Foundation, says pausing the pokies is especially helpful for people experiencing harmful gambling as it encourages thinking about how much time and money is being spent and lost on pokie machines.
"This is an awareness raising campaign to help communities and patrons reflect on their gambling and to encourage change where gambling has become a problem for the gambler and their families."
"It also gives us an opportunity to engage with venues that have pokies and discuss the signs of gambling harm, and importantly, how to make host responsibility work in practice."
So far, over 60 venues are signed up this year and many more are expected.
"Rotorua-based One Foundation, formerly First Sovereign Trust Limited, and the Invercargill Licensing Trust, have coordinated all their venues to pause their pokies, so it's great to see them supporting this important campaign to raise awareness of gambling harm in New Zealand."
Pause the Pokies is a nation-wide campaign run by several gambling harm service providers around the country. Last year over 80 venues paused their pokies for an hour or more during Gambling Harm Awareness Week (GHAW).
Events and activities take place around the country during GHAW which is held in the first week of September every year.One in five New Zealand adults is affected at some time in their lives by their own gambling or someone else's.