INDEPENDENT NEWS

NPDC Looking To Put A Lid On Pokie Machines And Venues

Published: Tue 30 Apr 2024 12:06 PM
Class 4 Gambling Machines. Photo supplied.
NPDC is proposing to put a district-wide lid on the number of pokie machines and venues that can operate in our district.
The move is part of a review of the Council’s Class 4 Gambling Venues and TAB Venues policies currently open for public feedback.
“At the moment, up to 300 machines can operate in the district, with the exception of Waitara where we have a sinking lid approach to reduce that down to a maximum of 25 machines,” says NPDC Corporate Planning and Policy Lead Mitchell Dyer.
“If this proposal is approved, it would mean that no new venues or additional machines could operate across the whole district, even if an existing venue closed down.”
He says while the number of machines has been going down over the last few years with natural attrition, under the district-wide cap, we are testing a proposal to introduce a district-wide sinking lid as an alternative.
The council is also proposing to update where new TAB venues can be set up and where existing Class 4 gambling venues can relocate to, to align with the Proposed District Plan. We are also looking to prevent venues relocating to Waitara, which already has a sinking lid approach in place.
Councils have limited authority to influence gambling laws in New Zealand, restricted to determining whether or not new TAB or Class 4 gambling venue may establish and where they may be located, and the number of gaming machines that may be operated. Councils have no say in where the proceeds from the machines are spent.
Rules related to casino operations and online gambling are the responsibility of central Government.
Go to npdc.govt.nz/haveyoursay to find out more and have your say. Feedback closes 10 May.Fast FactsClass 4 gambling machines are commonly referred to as pokie machines and housed in pubs, clubs and hotels.There are currently 291 licenced Class 4 gambling machines and 20 Class 4 venues operating across the district, three of these venues are in Waitara, operating 38 gaming machines.If adopted, the sinking lid approach would mean that no new Class 4 gambling venues or additional gaming machines would be permitted in New Plymouth District – even if an existing venue closed. This means the number of gaming machines in the district will go down over time.The two policies were last reviewed and amended in 2020 and must be reviewed every three years.

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