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Manukau committee opposes ATMs in licensed premise

Manukau committee opposes ATMs in licensed premises with gaming machines

Manukau city doesn’t need ATMs in licensed premises that have gaming machines and opposition to any such moves will be signalled to the Minister of Internal Affairs.

Councillor Dick Quax, Safe City Portfolio Leader, says a pilot programme run by companies in several different types of premises (mainly without gaming facilities) could lead to a proliferation in Manukau of instances where licensed premises have a convenience ATM near gaming areas.

At a meeting of the Manukau City Council’s Policy and Activities Committee it was decided that Cr Arthur Anae write on behalf of the Mayor to the Minister of Internal Affairs strongly opposing any introduction of convenience ATMs in such premises.

The committee also decided Cr Anae should write to chief executives of commercial trading banks and credit unions opposing any ATMs being introduced inside or adjacent to licensed premises which have gaming facilities.

“I believe the committee is opposed to any moves which would make cash more readily available to problem gamblers or potential problem gamblers,” Mr Quax says.

“Many of our residents are very worried about the impacts of gambling addictions on individuals, families and communities.

“Last year the council listened to those concerns and imposed a continuous sinking lid on class 4 gambling venues and machines.

“The committee believes having convenience ATMs in licensed premises that have gaming facilities in Manukau would be counter-productive.

“The Gambling Act 2003 was enacted to, in part, prevent and minimise the harm done by gambling as well as to facilitate responsible gambling. We believe convenience ATMs close to gaming machines do not sit well with the Act’s stated purposes.”

Mr Quax says New Zealand should learn from Australia where the Victorian State Government plans to eliminate ATMs in gaming venues by 2012.

“We shouldn’t try to reinvent the wheel here,” he says.

Mr Quax acknowledges there are already EFTPOS machines accessible by people using gaming venues and ATMs in the community.

“But using EFTPOS requires face-to-face contact with an operator and people often have to leave the facility to get to other ATMs. These options are not as convenient as an ATM next to the gaming area.”


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