The Gambling Act requires Territorial Local Authorities (TLAs or Councils) must review their Class 4 gambling venue policy every three years. If a Council is going to change or replace their policy, they must also consult with their community. That means communities get a chance to have a say about pokies and TABs in their neighbourhoods.
The PGF Group advocates for a strong sinking lid - no new licenses or pokie machines, and no relocations or club mergers.
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.
Some councils have a sinking lid but will allow relocations under certain circumstances. They also might allow two clubs to merge.
We believe that even sinking lid policies don't go far enough to reduce the harm from pokie gambling in our communities, but it's the best policy available to us at this time. You can read more about Class 4 venue policies on the Department of Internal Affairs' website here.
Submissions are open for the following policy reviews. Support a public health approach to reducing gambling harm by supporting a sinking lid policy on pokies for your community.
Timaru District Council is currently consulting on its proposed Gambling Venue policy. Have your say!