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Consulting on gaming machines policy

25 May 2006

Council agrees on options for consulting on gaming machines policy

The public will have a chance to say whether they agree with a Council proposal to let any premises with a Sale of Liquor Licence and designated area for machines be a gaming machine venue.

The City Council received this proposal in a Summary of Proposal regarding changes to the Gaming Venues and TAB Policy, that it resolved could be released for public consultation from
1 June to 28 July, 2006.

The Council will not make a final decision on changes until submissions on the proposed policy are heard later this year.

The main aim of the proposed changes is to relax the Council policy to let market demand and the Department of Internal Affairs (DIA) national regulations on harm minimisation and prevention, manage the industry. Council would continue to regulate location by restricting gaming machines to premises licenced under the Sale of Liquor Act.

The Council was told at a seminar in April that new DIA regulations - introduced since the Council adopted its 2004 policy - meant much of the Council policy is now no longer necessary. The DIA measures have helped change how the industry operates and the existing council policy has created difficulties for the industry in the light of these changes.

Councillors will consider several options:
a. status quo – retain the current council policy framework, without taking into account the new regulations
b. to have the Council policy set an upper limit on the number of machines, and venues with machines, as well as restrictions by the DIA, or
c. to permit only premises with a Sale of Liquor Licence and designated areas for machines to be venues for gambling machines. Such premises are controlled for environmental effects under the provisions of District Plans, and hours of operation under the Sale of Liquor Act 1989.

Option C is the Council’s preferred option.

The Statement of Proposal for the Gaming Venues and TAB Policy will be available for public viewing from 1 June at the Council Civic Offices, City Council libraries, service centres with tear-off freepost return feedback forms attached for public input, and on-line at www.ccc.govt.nz from 1 June to 28 July, where people will also be able to submit electronically.

ENDS


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