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Changes being considered for Waimakariri’s gambling machine rules

Thursday, June 16, 2022   Posted in: Signatory Notice Board By: Administrator With tags: consultation, submissions, gambling

Waimakariri District Council is considering changes to two clauses in their Gambling (Class 4) Venue Policy relating to how gambling machine numbers will be managed going forward.

As it stands there is a district wide cap of one gambling machine per 120 people 18 years old or older, which would allow for a further 133 Class 4 gaming machines (pokies) in the District with the current population.

Policy Analyst Lynley Beckingsale says four options are being considered, including the status quo, and is asking the community to rank them from most to least preferred.

“Council plays an important role in helping to manage the growth and minimise the harm of gambling in our community,” says Lynley.

“We’re asking our community if they think the current ratio is still appropriate or if they prefer an alternative option.”

Council will also consider whether to introduce a ‘relocation policy’ that could determine if gambling machines (pokies) are allowed to be relocated if a venue were to close.

“The community can also provide feedback on any other aspect of the Gambling Venue or Board Venue Policies, where we’re not currently proposing any changes,” says Lynley.

As part of its review process Council asked residents to participate in an anonymous survey to determine the appetite for change concerning our current gambling policies.

“Survey participants told us that we should consider changes to how we manage the number of gambling machines in the District,” says Lynley.

“Many confided to us their own stories of gambling harm and majority signalled they’d experienced negative outcomes as a result of gambling behaviours.”

Formal submissions can be made online or hardcopies are available from our Service Centres.

Submissions close Monday 11th July 2022.

Section 101 of the Gambling Act 2003 requires Council to adopt a Class 4 Venue Policy, while Section 96 of the Racing Industry Act 2002 also requires us to adopt a policy on TAB venues.