Pokie Addict Convicted For Facebook Scheme

A Blenheim who desperately tried to curb her pokie addiction asked a lot of bars to ban her from playing their machines.


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The name of this woman is Cheryl Takimoana. She tried to get assistance for her addiction, but unfortunately the only help available for her were in Malborough and Nelson. Their counseling services are only available through phone.


Her addiction to pokie is what led her into committing a crime. The crime she committed was advertising iPhones that did not exist and putting them for sale on Facebook to receive money.


Bryony Miller, her lawyer, told her judge in court, her client is dedicated to overcoming her addiction. Even though she has lack of support.


Takimona has been receiving budgeting advice and has begun asking bars to ban her from playing the machines after getting her sixth, seventh, and eighth for obtaining through deception in February.


Those who are banned from a pokie room with an exclusion have a chance at getting fined $500 for breaching it. They can also be fined for being removed by police.


Manager of Redwood Tavern, Michael Neel said a lot of people ask to be banned from the pokie room. He stated, “We probably have at least one person every month.”


The tavern has been receiving requests from the Problem Gambling Foundation to add people to lists. Also, they have been providing their own exclusion forms.


Neal said, “The tavern provided its own exclusion forms and they also received requests from the Problem Gambling Foundation to add people to the list.” He also mentioned that he knows most of the people on the list by sight because they were regulars.


Tineka Smith, who is the manager of Fairweathers Bar and Restaurant mentioned that the staff there supervise the pokie room. The staff is trained in decreasing issues from gambling.


Smith expressed that she is pleased the woman excluded herself. Then she continued by saying, “”We need to support people, and not sweep these things under the mat. You have to respect people who take that step,” according to this Stuff article.


According to a Marlborough District Council spokeswoman, there are 285 machines located in the township.


There aren’t any problem gambling specialist located in Marlborough, according to a Problem Gambling Foundation spokeswoman. She said there has not been a position vacated filled in recent years.


The spokeswoman said Nelson Marlborough Addiction Services offered helped to a lot of addicts from their office and available via phone.


Matua Raki national manager Vanessa Caldwell stated the addiction agency has been very aware of the shortage of treatment services for those addicted to gambling in the Top of the South.


Caldwell said, “The issue has been raised with the Ministry of Health.” According to her the shortage of treatment services is due to the lack of funding.

“The gambling helpline is the main service in this area in the meantime. Although phone intervention is helpful for some people, it is less helpful as an intervention on its own for people with significant issues”, is what she stated.


Takimoana received hundreds of dollars from teenagers who were trying to buy the iPhones she was advertising. They were trying to buy them from the months between November and February.


The judge in Takimoana’s case sentenced her to pay $1,325 to the victims for her conviction. She was also sentenced to ten weeks of home detention. There are special conditions that are included in her home detention. Those conditions are ordering assessment and treatment for addiction, counseling and budgeting advice that are directed through her probation.


Unfortunately, there are many cases like Cheryl Takimoana’s. Many people all around the world face the same challenges of gambling addiction. There are even some like Cherly who engage in some type of crime in order to receive money. Some would do anything to receive all of the money they have lost from gambling.


Many people are concerned that these type of cases will continue to rise, especially since gambling has been becoming more popular and harder to avoid it. Also, now it has become much harder to avoid advertisements that involve some sort of gambling.


What can be done to make sure these type of cases stop happening? It is pretty hard to come up with a straight right answer. Issues like these are pretty complicated to solve. A lot of why it is complicated to solve is because this is an activity in which many people participate in a responsible manner. Since there are many people who participate in it responsibly, some people in government do not want to punish them. Also, economics play a role in why this is hard to find a solution in as well. However, it is unfortunate this is an un-going issue.

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