Gambling Venue policy consultation underway
Consultation is open on Council’s draft Gambling Venue Policy as part of its three yearly review process.
The purpose of the policy is to control the growth of gambling and minimise and prevent harm caused by it, including problem gambling.
Under the Gambling Act 2003 and Racing Act 2003, councils are required to have a policy specifying the number, location, and restrictions that apply to class 4 gambling machine (pokies) and TAB venues in the district.
Both Acts give councils control over where gambling venues can establish or relocate, however they do not have the authority to close gambling venues.
Our policy uses a ‘sinking lid’ approach to the management of gambling – this means no new class 4 gambling machine venues are permitted.
The draft policy would also prohibit these venues from relocating under any circumstance.
The other key change in the draft policy is replacing the current regional cap on board venues with a sinking lid approach.
There is only one TAB remaining in Gisborne and under the draft policy no others will be allowed and the existing venue will have no option to relocate.
Our review of the policy last year highlighted that while the number of gambling venues and machines are decreasing, proceeds from gambling machines are increasing.
With high levels of deprivation, the Gisborne district is vulnerable to the hardships associated with problem gambling.
Gisborne’s ‘loss per head’ figure of $88.03 places the region 19th out of 67 districts in New Zealand.
The region does not have a dedicated problem gambling support service.
Consultation is open from 7 March to 9 April 2019. You can make a submission here