New Zealand

ICC may decline calls for sinking lid on pub, club pokie numbers

A sinking lid, or a cap?

TROY BAKER/Local Democracy Reporting

A sinking lid, or a cap?

A sinking lid policy for Invercargill’s club and pub pokie machines may be a step too far for the Invercargill City Council.

It is reviewing its gambling policies and Te Whatu Ora has sought the introduction of a sinking lid, highlighting that $17 million was spent on gambling last year in Invercargill and only $5.5m went back to the community.

Fourteen of the 15 gambling venues in Invercargill and Bluff were in areas assessed as medium to high deprivation.

Under a sinking lid policy, once a club or pub closes down and leaves the market, councils do not licence the replacement of those machines anywhere else.

However, the council’s hearings panel has recommended to the community wellbeing committee which meets on Tuesday that it amend its cap numbers at 226 machines without adding a sinking lid, but with some amendments.

One potential change would only allow the relocation and transfer of machines and merger of venues within the central business district (CBD).

The council would consider “on a merit basis’’ applications for some venues to relocate to a different place with a better deprivation rating in the CBD, on a merit basis.

And it would consider applications for venues to relocate to a place further away from a suburban/residential area to a more suitable area.

At the panel hearing, opponents to the sinking lid policy argued that reducing gaming machines would push people online and much of the profits would head offshore instead, rather than being returned to the community.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button