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Public meeting on gaming machines policy

27 June 2006

A Council proposal to relax its gaming policy to allow any premises with a Sale of Liquor licence and designated gaming area to operate gaming machines, will be the subject of a public meeting in the Council Chamber, Tuam Street, on Monday, 3 July, from 5.30 to 7pm.

The proposed changes to the Gaming Venues and TAB Policy are available for public comment until 28 July through the Have Your Say site, and hard copies of the feedback form on the policy are available at all Council libraries and service centres (including Banks Peninsula).

The aim of the proposed changes is to relax the policy to let market demand and the Department of Internal Affairs (DIA) national regulations on harm minimisation and prevention, and the types of premises allowed gaming machines, dictate who can or cannot operate gaming machines.

The Council was told at a seminar in April that new DIA regulations - introduced since the Council adopted its 2004 policy - made the Council policy largely redundant.  The DIA measures have helped make gaming machines increasingly expensive and less viable to run for smaller operators.

Councillors are considering several options:

a. status quo – retain the current council policy framework, without taking into account the new regulations
b. to have the Council policy set an upper limit on the number of machines, and venues with machines, as well as restrictions by the DIA, or
c. to permit only premises with a Sale of Liquor Licence and designated areas for machines to be venues for gaming machines. Such premises are controlled for environmental effects under the provisions of District Plans, and hours of operation under the Sale of Liquor Act 1989. 

Option C is the Council’s preferred option.

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