Further Review of Gambling Venues Policy 2020

Submissions closed on March 03, 2021, 05:00 PM

Pokie machines

Whanganui District Council has conducted its review of the Gambling Venues Policy. In addition to the decisions made, it is now proposing to prevent class 4 venues from relocating unless they are relocating to an area within the central business district. 

The Council has undertaken its mandatory 3-yearly review of the Gambling Venues Policy. It elected to retain the 'sinking lid' policy, as well as making typographical changes to increase the clarity and consistency of the Policy. 

Council is now also proposing to further restrict relocations of class 4 venues within the district. Currently, venues can only relocate if their current premises becomes effectively unusable. The proposed change would further restrict relocations, making them prohibited unless they are relocating to within the central business district.    

Oral submissions (heard on 25 March 2021)

 

Options

Option 1

Amend the Gambling Venues Policy (preferred)

Under this option, Council would amend the Gambling Venues Policy to prevent class 4 venues from relocating unless they are relocating to an area within the Central Business District.

Advantages Disadvantages
  • Explicitly preventing class 4 venues from relocating to residential areas of the district may have a greater impact on gambling participation and gambling harm.
  • Operators relocating outside residential areas may lose profits. 
  • Operators may be prevented from relocating altogether if there is no viable space more than 100m away from an existing venue. Given the limited circumstances in which a venue is permitted to relocate, this could have the result of effectively forcing an operator to cease providing class 4 operations.

 

Option 2

Retain the Current Relocation Restrictions (Status-quo)

Under this option, Council would retain its existing rules around relocation.

Advantages
Disadvantages
  • The Gambling Venues Policy and the Gambling Act 2003 already permit Council to consider the socioeconomic factors of any area a class 4 venue is proposing to relocate to.
  • Relocating to residential areas may lead to a positive impact on operator profits.
  • The ability to relocate to residential areas may be a contributor towards gambling harm.