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Have your say on draft gambling policy

8 March 2004

Press release

Have your say on draft gambling policy

The Council’s new draft Gambling Venue Policy - proposing a city-wide “cap” on the number of existing gaming machine and venue numbers - is now open for public consultation.

If adopted, the proposed cap would mean that additional machines or gambling venues would only be allowed in Waitakere if an existing venue closed. Venues that have been licensed since October 2001 will be able to keep operating with their current number of machines, but will need to apply to the Council for consent.

Under the policy, all gambling venues (except stand-alone TABs) will be required to hold a liquor license and the development of host responsibility practices will be encouraged.

The Council will also be looking at developing systems that support the responsible operation of gambling venues as part of a Citywide Alcohol Strategy to be developed this year.

“Gambling is seen by many people as a legitimate way to have fun, but it can have a downside and problem gambling has negative social impacts,” says Councillor Penny Hulse, chair of the Council’s Environmental Management Committee.

“We want to support a responsible attitude to gambling by those in the industry and to listen to our community’s call to reduce harm in our city.”

The policy, required under the new Gambling Act 2003, gives councils more control over the growth of gambling machine numbers and venues.

Consultation on the draft policy will continue until mid-April. Submissions are invited from interest groups and members of the public. For more information, phone Allanah Jarman or Annika Lane on 839 0400.


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