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Council to consider impact of Waitakere gambling

10 November 2003
Press release

Council to consider impact of gambling in Waitakere

The location of TABs and gaming machine venues will be decided under a new policy being considered by Waitakere City Council.

The policy is required under the new Gambling Act 2003 (formerly the Responsible Gambling Bill), which gives councils more control over the growth of gambling venues in their local communities.

The policy must specify where venues with gaming machines (or ‘pokies’) can be located - and it may also place restrictions on the number of gaming machines at such venues. In addition, the Council must also state whether or not new TAB venues can be established in the City and, if so, where they may be located.

Waitakere City is working with other Auckland councils to research gambling issues.

The first step in drafting the policy is to consider the social, economic, cultural and environmental impacts that gambling has on the community. To assist, the University of Auckland is preparing a regional impact assessment report on behalf of all councils in the region.

This work involves gathering statistical data about gambling, preparing a cost-benefit analysis and seeking input from a variety of stakeholders, such as community trusts, gambling operators, business associations and support groups for problem gambling.

The Council is holding a workshop in mid-November to gain community group and agency views on the direction Waitakere’s gambling venue policy should take.

Following the completion of the gambling impact assessment and workshop, a draft policy will be prepared. This will be available for public consultation in early 2004 to ensure the wider community has the opportunity to comment on gambling in their local area.

Ends

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