Changes to Gambling Machine Rules
A review of the District’s gambling rules has resulted in some changes, including an additional rule to allow businesses with pokie machines to move premises in some circumstances.
“Basically, it would mean that if an existing premises is sold, or no longer available the business could potentially be relocated,” said Mayor John Tregidga, "the current policy has no provision for this, which we believe is unfair in some cases.”
This addition doesn’t change the Council’s ‘sinking lid’ approach to pokies, which states that when existing gaming venues and machines cease to operate they can’t be replaced.
“Our gambling policy acknowledges that while gambling can be an enjoyable activity it can also be addictive and that this has a significant negative social impact on some of our families,” said the Mayor.
The decision was made after considering all community feedback on the subject.
- The wording of the policy was changed slightly in relation to the proximity of gambling venues to Council playgrounds. The new wording means that gambling venues must be at least 50 metres from the edge of the playground, rather than from the legal boundary of the playground site. This was changed because some playgrounds are located at one end of a very large site such as at the Paeroa Domain, Hugh Hayward Domain in Ngatea, and Waihi’s Morgan Park.
- A cap of nine gambling venues in the district has been retained. As we currently have nine venues this means no new venues will be given consent to operate.
- A cap of 69 pokies machines has been retained. The existing venues have consent to operate 123 machines, which means we won’t give consent to any more until we get below our cap.
Just a reminder:
- While we can set rules about the number of machines and venues allowed consent in the future and where they can be located, we can’t change the rules about venues that already have consent to operate – that’s up to central government.
View the new here - Class 4 Gambling Venue and NZ Racing Board Venue Policy 2017 [PDF, 169 KB] or at any of our offices.