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Gaming Venues and TAB policy out for comment

Gaming Venues and TAB policy out for comment

People can say whether they agree with a Christchurch City Council proposal that any premises with a Sale of Liquor Licence and designated area can become a gaming machine venue by making submissions to the Gaming Venues and TAB policy - out for public comment until 28 July.

The City Council received this proposal at its meeting of 25 May 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.

A final decision will not be made by the Council on changing the policy until all submissions received through consultation are heard later this year.

The Statement of Proposal for the Gaming Venues and TAB Policy is available for public viewing from:
• the Council Civic Offices,
• City Council libraries, and
• service centres with tear-off freepost return feedback forms attached for public input, and
• on-line at www.ccc.govt.nz through the Have Your Say site until 28 July, where people can make submissions electronically.

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, however, 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.

ENDS


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