Waitakere City Council has introduced a policy that will gradually reduce the number of gaming machines in the city.
Planning and Regulatory Committee chair Vanessa Neeson says public feedback has given Waitakere City Council a clear mandate to introduce a sinking lid gaming machine policy.
“When 95 per cent of Westies say they want fewer gaming machines in their community it’s up to the council to act,” Councillor Neeson says.
“So as of October there will be a sinking lid policy introduced in Waitakere – meaning every time a pokie machine is removed or a venue hosting these machines closes these machines will not be replaced,” she says.
“Gradually there will be a decrease in the number of these gambling machines in our community while not impacting significantly on the community groups which benefit from the revenue these machines raise.
“The community can rest assured there will be no sign hanging outside the Licensing Trusts saying ‘we’re out of business’ when this is introduced – there will be virtually no change, community groups will still get their money, ” Cr Neeson says.
Nearly 4600 people made submissions on whether Waitakere should maintain the status quo (a maximum of 501 machines) or introduce the sinking lid policy – 95% preferred the latter.
The changes to the Gambling Venue Policy take effect on October 9.