(Council media release)

pokie machinesUpdates to the Kapiti Coast District Council’s gambling policies, adopted [last Thursday?], will clarify the rules for pub and club operators wanting to cancel or transfer their pokie machine licenses.

“The adopted changes to the Class 4 Gambling Policy and TAB Venue Gambling Policy 2011 will set clearer conditions, and in some cases place more restrictions, on the rules for cancelling pokie machine licenses or transferring them to another venue,” says Kapiti Coast District Mayor K. Gurunathan.

“The previous policy gave the Council very little visibility over what happened to pokie machine licenses when a venue operator either shut shop or decided they no longer wanted their license.

 “The new policy clearly sets out the conditions that license-holders need to meet if they want to re-locate their machines to another venue.

“It also addresses issues around the relocation of pokie machines in areas of the District that are more at risk of problem gambling – such as Ōtaki, which currently has more pokie machines than the cap allows.”

“Whenever an operator wishes to relocate their machines, the Council will issue a public notice informing our communities of their plans and inviting people to tell us what they think.”

Mayor K. Gurunathan says the maximum number of pokie machines permitted in each community has been a key consideration in the review.

“The number of pokie machines in each community is currently below the permitted cap, with the exception of Ōtaki where numbers are higher, but gradually reducing.”

“We believe the caps, put in place in 2011, continue to strike a sensible balance between recognising the rights of recreational gamblers and business owners while protecting our communities from problem gambling.”

The Council will be in touch with operators of gambling venues, and pokie machine license-holders, about the changes shortly.

The only venue in Waikanae with these machines is the Chartered Club in Elizabeth Street. —Eds.