Dunedin City Council is currently reviewing its gambling venues policy, and is receiving submissions on its proposal until 5pm on Friday 26 February.
The Dunedin City Council currently has a sinking lid on pokies, and we are encouraging the Council to retain this policy and prohibit relocations or club mergers.
A sinking lid is the best policy to control the growth of gambling and minimise harm.
Twenty three of the 67 TLAs around New Zealand have already introduced sinking lid policies. This is partly driven by strong public opinion about harm and partly TLA’s concern to promote community wellbeing. This is consistent with the purpose of the Gambling Act 2003 and section 4 where the definition of gambling harm includes harm to society at large.
Have your say using the Council's online submission form here.
PGF Group recommends that Gambling Venue policies should include the following three provisions:
In 2019, over $18 million was lost on pokies in Dunedin alone.
At the end of 2019, there were 389 pokie machines between the 28 Class 4 gambling venues in Dunedin, with 18 of those venues located in medium-high or high deprivation areas.
Class 4 gambling refers to pokies in pubs, clubs and TABs.
A sinking lid policy means that when an existing Class 4 pokie venue closes, consent for another to be established will not be given. It also means that a venue cannot increase its number of pokie machines, and that if a venue's license conditions change to reduce the maximum number of machines that it can operate, then it cannot apply to increase this number again at a later date.
In effect, it means no new pokies. Over time this will lead to a decrease in the number of venues and machines in our communities.