Kāpiti Coast District Council is currently reviewing its Class 4 gambling venues policy. The Council is receiving submissions on its proposed policy until 2 October 2023.
You can provide your feedback to the Council by clicking here.
Kāpiti Coast District Council have established three options for review:
Option 1 – Keep the status quo
Option 2 – Lowering the cap on pokie numbers
Option 3 – Adopting a sinking lid that does not allow for venue relocations
The Council has indicated that their preferred option is adopting a sinking lid (Option 3).
Kāpiti Coast District Council currently has a district wide cap of 228 machines as well as a sinking lid approach for the Ōtaki Ward only.
We support the Council’s preferred option of adopting a sinking lid policy with no venue relocations allowed. A sinking lid is the best policy to control the growth of gambling and minimise harm.
While this is a step in the right direction, we are also encouraging the Council to adopt a ‘gold standard’ sinking lid that does not allow for relocations or club mergers.
33 of the 65 councils around New Zealand have already introduced sinking lid policies. This is partly driven by strong public opinion about harm and local councils’ commitment 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.
PGF Group recommends that Gambling Venue policies should include the following three provisions:
According to the Department of Internal Affairs, as at 31 December 2022, around $10.4 million was lost on pokies on the Kāpiti Coast during the year.
At the end of December 2022, there were 184 pokie machines located across the 11 Class 4 gambling venues on the Kāpiti Coast.
Pokie trusts operate pokie machines in pubs, clubs and TABs. The trusts, their machines and the pubs, clubs and TABs that operate them make up the Class 4 gambling sector. It does not include casino pokies.
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.
Under the Gambling Act 2003, Territorial Local Authorities (TLAs or Councils) are required to set local policy controlling the number and location of Class 4 gambling venues and pokie machines. These policies must be reviewed every three years, and if any changes are proposed to the policy those changes must be taken to their community for consultation and feedback.