In what seems to be a problem, gamblers in Taranaki pokie machines have thrown in more than $5 million in just three months duration.
In the 480 pokie machines of the region during the first three months of 2017, an amount totalling $5,124,057 was spent with $3,678,218 in New Plymouth, $1,160,657 in South Taranaki and $285,182 in Stratford amounting to an average of $10,675 per machine.
These figures have given the Gambling organisations sleepless nights, as machines are the most harmful form if gambling and they often target the most vulnerable people.
About 40% of the money lost is contributed by the people with gambling problems and a shocking 16% of the population uses the machine regularly.
Communications Director of the Problem Gambling Foundation, Andree Froude said:"Unfortunately they are often situated in our more struggling communities, so there's a lot of money being lost by people who can't afford to lose it".