Gam­bling pol­icy re­view a con­tro­ver­sial is­sue

South Waikato News - - FRONT PAGE -

The con­tentious is­sue around gam­bling pol­icy will hit full steam to­mor­row morn­ing when South Waikato Dis­trict Coun­cil hears ver­bal sub­mis­sions as part of its Gam­bling Pol­icy Re­view 2013.

The sub­mis­sions hear­ing, which be­gins at 9.30am in­side coun­cil cham­bers, will hear from eight sub­mit­ters in­clud­ing the Sal­va­tion Army Toko­roa’s Colin Bri­dle, Pock­ets 8 Ball’s Wendy Cook and Alan My­croft from Toko­roa Cos­mopoli­tan Club.

Coun­cil is re­quired to re­view its pol­icy on Class 4 Gam­bling and TAB Board Venues ev­ery three years. It was last re­viewed in 2009 and ap­proved to be­gin in April 2010.

In March of this year Coun­cil agreed that it was ap­pro­pri­ate that the ex­ist­ing Class 4 Gam­bling and TAB Board Venue Pol­icy be re­tained for this re­view.

This sig­nalled that Coun­cil in­tended to con­tinue with the sink­ing lid regime, which means that if a venue closes down for a pe­riod of six months or more, Coun­cil would not reis­sue a site ap­proval for that venue.

Ob­jec­tives in­cluded con­trol­ling and fur­ther lim­it­ing the num­ber of Class 4 venues op­er­at­ing in the dis­trict.

Since the last re­view in 2010, the num­ber of Class 4 venues op­er­at­ing in the dis­trict has de­creased from 13 to 12 and the num­ber of gam­ing ma­chines has de­creased from 189 to 178.

The pub­lic con­sul­ta­tion process be­gan in April of this year where a to­tal of 16 sub­mis­sions were re­ceived. Of the 16 sub­mis­sions, 10 sub­mis­sions were in sup­port of the pol­icy and six op­posed.

Coun­cil’s En­vi­ron­men­tal Health man­ager John An­der­son con­cluded that weight of pub­lic opin­ion and the col­lec­tive wis­dom of coun­cil has de­ter­mined that there is harm at­trib­uted to Class 4 and TAB gam­bling.

He went on to say that coun­cil de­clared its po­si­tion of lim­it­ing and re­duc­ing the num­ber of venues by putting in place a sink­ing lid regime. He ac­knowl­edged that any ben­e­fi­cial changes would take time from the cre­ation of the sink­ing lid regime in 2010.

South Waikato Dis­trict Coun­cil has given the rec­om­men­da­tion that the ex­ist­ing Gam­bling Class 4 and Rac­ing Board Venue Pol­icy be adopted.

The first sub­mit­ter will speak at 9.45am to­mor­row.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.