In New Zealand, politicians are getting tough on poker machines. In addition to the introduction of the new Harm Reduction Bill, city councils want to introduce sinking lid policies to further reduce the number of pokies in their jurisdictions. Auckland City Council is currently in the process of hammering out the details of its own sinking lid policy, which put strict limits on how many poker machines can exist in the area.
As it stands, local councillors have voted for the strictest option. They have requested that, in addition to reducing the number of poker machines over time, the sinking lid policy should also prohibit poker machines from being moved. This means that venues that have relocated cannot bring their pokies with them and venues cannot sell their machines to other locations.
One exception that councillors have supported is allowing clubs to merge, in order to ensure that they stay afloat. However, politicians believe that clubs with poker machines should not be able to move their games to clubs that do not have pokies – even if they merge. There is some debate over this provision, but many politicians are in support of it.