Auckland City announces new gambling venue policy

Originally Posted on Sunday Mar 28 3:00:00 BST 2010

A new gambling venue policy for Auckland city will come into being on June 1 2010.

Although the new policy will stop any increase in venues and gaming machines in the city, it will make provision for existing venues to move into new premises providing they adhere to a number of conditions.

Firstly, the new venue must replace one that already exists.  Secondly, the new venue must meet conditions regarding the area into which it relocates, such as distance from other gambling establishments.  Thirdly, the new location must have fewer pokie machines than the venue it is replacing.

The council, in adopting this policy, has consulted with many organisations with interests in gambling.  Two of the parties consulted were the New Zealand Racing Board and problem gambling groups.

The public were invited to comment on the draft policy in September 2009, and nearly 4,000 submissions were received.

Councilor Paul Goldsmith said that, “The revised policy strikes a better balance between the desire to reduce problem gambling and the desire to maintain an important stream of community funding”.

Applicants will now have to pay a proposed application fee of $350 to cover administration costs incurred by the council.

Pokie machines continue to be an important part of New Zealand life as well as contributing much needed money to the community.

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