Napier City Council is currently reviewing its gambling venues policy, and is receiving submissions on its proposal until 12 noon on Wednesday 17 February.
Napier City Council is proposing to lower the overall cap on machines and to limit machine numbers in high deprivation areas.
PGF Group is recommending that the Council introduces a comprehensive sinking lid policy, with no relocations of class 4 machines or club mergers permitted. This 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.
You can download Napier City Council's full policy proposal here.
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 $20 million was lost on pokies in Napier alone.
At the end of 2019, there were 298 pokie machines between the 20 Class 4 gambling venues in Napier. Since then, 2 more machines have been added to increase the total number of machines to 300.
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.