And how many in supermarkets?

March 30th, 2013 at 9:44 am by David Farrar

Jared Savage at NZ Herald reports:

Nearly 100 children were found wandering by themselves in SkyCity last year, show new statistics which anti-gambling advocates say prove problem gambling is a growing issue.

In most cases, the adults responsible for the children were found in the main gaming floor on pokie machines or at a table game.

Note we don’t get told the proportion between the two. It might be 4 at pokie machines and 96 at table games. Does the PGF who released the data have the breakdown?

Figures released by the Department of Internal Affairs under the Official Information Act show there were 64 incidents of “unattended children” last year, involving 96 children. In 2009, just 19 such incidents were recorded.

64 incidents is around one a week. Sounds reasonably high but what I want to know is comparison rates. How many unattended children are found each week in malls and/or supermarkets and what is that as a proportion of overall customers?

Because casinos are probably the only entities required to report on this data, it is all too easy to jump to conclusions.

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17 Responses to “And how many in supermarkets?”

  1. Whaleoil (767 comments) says:

    There are only table games or pokies in a casino…so what are they trying to say?

    If you want a better abandonment case look at public swimming pools particularly in school holidays where parents drop their kids off and drive away.

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  2. Judith (8,531 comments) says:

    Whilst the comments of the two ‘gentlemen’ above may in essence be correct, it would be wrong not to acknowledge the fact that when problem gamblers play the pokies, the rest of the world, and the essence of time, disappears. To discount that issue may feed the profits but it does nothing to assist the innocent children whose parent/s may be problem gamblers.

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  3. Michael (903 comments) says:

    Or the streets? If these liberal sods actually went to places like Otara and Cannons Creek they would find kids roaming the streets without supervision. But that wouldn’t fit with their anti-business world view so it couldn’t happen anywhere else.

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  4. Judith (8,531 comments) says:

    I should also like to point out that there is no age restriction to shopping (although I personally would prefer a ‘sex’ restriction – men in charge of trolleys is painful to watch). Surely we are not advocating that having children in gambling premises is acceptable?

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  5. flipper (3,941 comments) says:

    Whale is absolutely correct.

    The use of swimming pools as a child care centre is probably the most widespread abuse of all.

    It is amazing just how many other wise attentive parents think the pool attendants (I have never believed them to be life guards) are paid minders. Well to the extent that they are abused by some little shits and their parents they are – and under paid at that.

    But, DPF, this is just part of the Herald’s holier than thou attitude on liquor as well. It is the weekend beat-up syndrome. Watch now for a TV One copy cat!

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  6. Grizz (588 comments) says:

    I would like to know how many of these children have been counted more than once?

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  7. Nostalgia-NZ (5,090 comments) says:

    Doesn’t matter how many times they’ve been counted or not, or the comparison to supermarkets it’s a an almost 500% increase in the number compared to 2009.

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  8. Harriet (4,761 comments) says:

    Whale oil – “….If you want a better abandonment case look at public swimming pools particularly in school holidays where parents drop their kids off and drive away….”

    ‘abandonment’ – be serious!

    Back in the 70’s and 80’s in west CH-CH you could get a ‘family pass’ where it was the accepted norm for all kids to go to the public swimming pools without parental supervision. Most hot days saw 3-4 hundred there[some were obviously parents] with about 4-5 pool attendants.

    The youngest children that were unattended were probably about 7, but everykid went with either older siblings or friends of the same age, which back then wasn’t uncommon to find in public places – as MOST kids had bikes – and that is what they were USED FOR !

    I went there for probably 10 yrs and can honestly say that no one came even close to drowning, infact, I can’t ever recall an attendant actually getting wet!

    I live in QLD now -right beside a beach that has no lifeguards all year round[as it ain't a surf beach]- and I can honestly say that kids as young as ten go swimming with their friends of the same age – without adult supervision – and that is a regular occurance.
    And it doesn’t worry the local police either! or the doctors!

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  9. eszett (2,391 comments) says:

    It might be 4 at pokie machines and 96 at table games. Does the PGF who released the data have the breakdown?

    How would this breakdown be relevant?

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  10. Shunda barunda (2,977 comments) says:

    Or the streets? If these liberal sods actually went to places like Otara and Cannons Creek they would find kids roaming the streets without supervision. But that wouldn’t fit with their anti-business world view so it couldn’t happen anywhere else.

    It’s not illegal so long as the house they live in has a locked door.

    I became aware of this because a solo mum near us would do it all the time: “mummies going out, get outside and play” , and so long as the kids can’t get back inside, she’s not breaking the law.

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  11. Shunda barunda (2,977 comments) says:

    The answer to this problem is to build casinos next to public swimming pools! :)

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  12. dime (9,798 comments) says:

    well clearly casinos must be BANNED. ffs.

    id like to see the stat where after they find the kid, they run the spotlight over the parents entire life and find out if he/ she is just a lowdown shi tbag or if the kid wondered off.

    if the parents is a shit bag, ban them from the casino. put them in the paper. whatever. done. solved.

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  13. hj (6,809 comments) says:

    If it’s pro business it’s O.K!

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  14. orewa1 (428 comments) says:

    I don’t think the PGF deserves ridicule. This should not obscure the reality that as the PGF observes, problem gambling is a growing issue. And it is somewhat (though not completely) an example of the rich and powerful sucking money from the poor and vulnerable.

    I like the Singaporean casino framework. Local residents have to pay a door fee of $100 to get in; overseas visitors get in free. And there is no alcohol on sale. It separates gambling from booze, and calls the bluff of the big casino owners who always claim that they are essentially part of the tourism infrastructure – bollocks!

    Imagine the impact on the demographics at Sky City if these measures were implemented!

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  15. Manolo (13,517 comments) says:

    I do think the PGF deserves ridicule.

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  16. KevinH (1,194 comments) says:

    Don’t know where Whaleoil gets his swimming pool info from, according to staff at Parakai Springs unaccompanied children are not admitted.

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  17. b1gdaddynz (279 comments) says:

    I don’t think it is appropriate for children to be left to fend for themselves anywhere! 1 at the casino is too many! I think others are right though when they question why it is ok everywhere but the casino? I live in Porirua and there are kids left wandering the mall unattended everyday! It is especially sad when they are asking “gotta dollar?”. If you don’t think this happens or is rare then I would suggest you need to pull your head out pf your arse!

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