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Christchurch Council retains existing pokie machines policy

23 February 2012

Council retains existing pokie machines policy

Christchurch City Council will retain its existing “sinking lid” policy on gambling venues and “pokie” machines across the city.

The Council today completed an early review of its Gambling Venue Policy and decided to continue with the existing policy, which aims to minimise harm from gambling. Councillors agreed that retaining the current “sinking lid” policy was the best way to achieve this.

The Policy was due to be reviewed by the end of August 2012; however with 36 gambling venues affected by earthquake damage, 21 of which remain closed, the Council decided to review the policy earlier than required by legislation.

A number of venue operators had indicated they were interested in relocating following the effects of the earthquakes on class 4 (Gambling on Non-Casino Gaming (pokie) Machines) gambling venues in the city, something the Council’s policy does not allow.

Last reviewed in 2009, the Policy is a “sinking lid” policy. It aims to progressively reduce the opportunities gambling on non-casino gaming machines – or “pokie” machines” – in Christchurch by attrition. It does not allow any increase in class 4 gaming venues or class 4 machine numbers, except in a specific circumstance where two or more corporate societies are merging.

The Council noted the spike in gambling expenditure after the earthquakes, despite the reduced number of venues and machines available.

ENDS

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