December 06, 2020
Hastings keen to cut back pokies
Hastings District Council will this week consider a recommendation from its hearings committee that it adopt a sinking lid policy for gaming machines.
Mayor Sandra Hazlehurst says while the council was grateful for the funding gambling trusts gave to community groups for sports, the arts and events, it also wanted to reduce the harm caused by gambling.
The hearings committee found that increased gambling availability had resulted in an increase in problem gambling particularly among Māori and lower socio-economic groups.
The proposed policy would mean no new gaming machines or venues being introduced in the district, although existing licence holders could relocate their premises under certain conditions as long as they are not in high-deprivation areas.
Mayor Hazlehurst says the council will also ask the Government to crack down on the online gambling industry.
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