Decrease in pokies but increase in spending

A workshop on problem gambling will be held next year, Gisborne District Council’s environmental planning and regulations committee was told at its meeting

The council is due to review its policy for Class 4 gambling machines (pokies) and racing board (TAB) venues.

The committee had just received a report saying that gross machine profits from pokie machines from the district were expected to reach $11 million in 2018.

Gisborne’s loss per head figure of $88.03 placed the region 19th of 67 districts in New Zealand.

Because of the district’s high level of deprivation, problem gambling was likely to be disproportionately affecting certain parts of the community.

Strategic planning manager Joanna Noble said the workshop would discuss some of the issues a review of the council’s gambling venue policy had raised and the feedback from stakeholders.

There was a diversity in submissions as to whether the policy should become far more restrictive or whether it could be relaxed.

Statistics showed the number of machines in the district had decreased but the amount of money spent on them had increased.

Staff were asking that this initial review be adopted and that next year they come back and discuss in detail some of the issues raised.

Committee chairwoman Pat Seymour said at the last review that relocation of premises was allowed to enable them to be renovated.

She wanted to flag the fact that one or two councillors were of the view that the relocation policy should be seriously reconsidered.

A workshop on problem gambling will be held next year, Gisborne District Council’s environmental planning and regulations committee was told at its meeting

The council is due to review its policy for Class 4 gambling machines (pokies) and racing board (TAB) venues.

The committee had just received a report saying that gross machine profits from pokie machines from the district were expected to reach $11 million in 2018.

Gisborne’s loss per head figure of $88.03 placed the region 19th of 67 districts in New Zealand.

Because of the district’s high level of deprivation, problem gambling was likely to be disproportionately affecting certain parts of the community.

Strategic planning manager Joanna Noble said the workshop would discuss some of the issues a review of the council’s gambling venue policy had raised and the feedback from stakeholders.

There was a diversity in submissions as to whether the policy should become far more restrictive or whether it could be relaxed.

Statistics showed the number of machines in the district had decreased but the amount of money spent on them had increased.

Staff were asking that this initial review be adopted and that next year they come back and discuss in detail some of the issues raised.

Committee chairwoman Pat Seymour said at the last review that relocation of premises was allowed to enable them to be renovated.

She wanted to flag the fact that one or two councillors were of the view that the relocation policy should be seriously reconsidered.

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Lizz Crawford, former manager Te Ara Tika Tairawhiti Gambling Services - 10 months ago
The community needs to be involved in the gambling workshop at Gisborne District Council early next year. There are too many complexities to work through, it is better to include community, local services and agencies that have been working in harm minimisation and not leave it up to chance, good luck and hoping the policy works - as we tend to take longer than three years to review it.
It is noted that the gambling licenses of Kaiti Club Hotel and New Zealand Community Trust may not have been cancelled by the Department of Internal Affairs as yet and one really must ask, why not? The main activity was no longer available when the Alcohol Regulatory and Licensing Authority declared that the on-licence of Kaiti Club Hotel would expire in September 2018. The licensing for all gambling at that venue should have been cancelled and revoked. While the Kaiti Sportsbar no longer exists, the company behind the premise does. The society cannot make distributions from that venue's banking under legislation, which is another let down; it is futile to attempt to keep that licensing active when a relocation request was also withdrawn from the society.
Councillors need to ask the Department of Internal Affairs what the gross proceeds are per venue and then compare that with the net proceeds figure per venue, not the melting pot figure we get fed at the end of the year. The gross proceeds is really what matters and this is not reported in a meaningful way.
The loss-per-head figure is inaccurate as it uses population figures of everyone 18 years and over. A more accurate depiction would be to use the Pareto rule - 80 percent of net proceeds harm that is caused by 20 percent of the population over the age of 18 years. The relocation clause should not have made it into the Gambling Venue Policy 2015, a matter before Local Government New Zealand. Finally, why would spending go up when machine numbers go down? The lid is not sinking fast enough and we need to tighten our policy and stop issuing consents that exist in perpetuity for generations of those most harmed that may be suffering health deficits for unborn generations.
Let's be kind to our communities by making it tougher to take advantage of our whanau here in Tairawhiti through pokies and other harmful forms of gambling.

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