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How many pokie venues should Auckland have?

Media release
17 January 2013

How many pokie venues should Auckland have?

Aucklanders are invited to have their say on two draft policies which propose to reduce gambling-related harm by limiting the spread of venues that house electronic gaming machines and TAB venues.

The law requires all New Zealand’s councils to have policies on whether to allow new TAB or Class 4 venues, which house electronic gaming machines (pokies) in their area. Auckland Council’s draft New Zealand Racing Board (TAB) Venue Policy and its draft Class 4 Gambling (Pokie) Venue Policy are proposals set to replace the policies of Auckland’s seven former councils.

Auckland currently has 43 stand-alone TAB venues and 305 pokie machine venues housing more than 4,000 electronic gaming machines.

“The Auckland Plan identifies the need to minimise gambling-related harm and these policies are a tangible way to achieve that,” says Councillor Cathy Casey, chair of council’s Social and Community Development Forum.

Proposals for the Draft Board (TAB) Venue Policy:

One set of rules for Auckland
Cap the number of standalone TAB venues at 43
No restrictions on where new venues can be located other than requirements of the district (unitary) plan.

Proposals for the Draft Class 4 Gambling (Pokie) Venue Policy

One set of rules for Auckland
A region-wide sinking lid policy for Class 4 venues, so when a venue closes another one could not open, reducing the number of venues over time
Single club venues (e.g. service or sports clubs with pokie machines) will not be able to increase gaming machine numbers
If two clubs merge, the number of machines at the new venue is restricted to no more than five-sixths of the combined total prior the merger.

Councils have no authority to regulate gambling at casinos, Lotto outlets, internet gambling or distribution of proceeds from pokie machines.

Consultation on the Draft New Zealand Racing Board (TAB) Venue Policy and the Draft Class 4 Gambling (Pokie) Venue Policy runs Friday, 18 January to Thursday, 28 February.

To get a full statement of the proposals and a summary of them, and to make a submission, go to www.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz/haveyoursay.

The proposals and submission forms can be obtained from Auckland Libraries, service centres and local board offices, or by phoning council’s customer service centre on 09 301 0101.


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