NZ district introduces a new gambling harm policy

The district of Gisborne has adopted a new gambling policy.
The district of Gisborne has adopted a new gambling policy.

There will be no new gambling establishments and existing venues will be unable to relocate.

New Zealand.- Gisborne District Council’s Gambling Venue Policy 2022 has entered into effect after being approved at a meeting on June 23. Its objectives are to control gambling growth, prevent and minimise gambling harm and facilitate community involvement in gambling decisions.

The new policy also retains the sinking lid approach thus council will not grant consent for:

  • The establishment of any additional TAB venues or additional gaming machines, including Class 4 machines (pokies) in TAB venues under this policy.
  • The re-establishment of a TAB venue with or without gaming machines once a licence is no longer held for that venue and territorial authority consent is required.

The policy also establishes that the relocation of existing class 4 venues will only be allowed where earthquake strengthening is required, and the premises cannot continue to operate at that site.

Any new location will be subject to the following conditions:

  • The application for relocation will be publicly notified.
  • The venue operator of the new location shall be the same as the former location.
  • The maximum number of Class 4 gambling machines shall not exceed the number approved at the former location and are subject to any restrictions applicable under the Act.

Clubs that merge physically and legally may operate the number of gaming machines specified in their Class 4 venue licences at the time of application or 10 machines, whichever is less.

Joanna Noble, council chief of strategy and science said: “These initiatives are around Council advocating for improved gambling support services in our region, more tools for regulating gambling at the local government level and developing an inhouse ethics policy at Council to determine whether we should access gambling-related funding.”

New Zealand to invest US$47.9m in gambling harm initiatives

As previously reported by Focus Gaming News, the Labour Government of New Zealand has announced a NZ$76m (US$47.9m) investment for a new strategy aimed at preventing and minimising gambling harm-related issues.

The strategy will be funded by a problem gambling levy paid by non-casino gaming machine operators, casinos, TAB NZ and the New Zealand Lotteries Commission.

Jan Tinetti, minister of internal affairs said the project was developed after a public consultation made in late 2021 and was co-designed with service providers, community groups, industry bodies and people with lived experience of gambling harm.

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