Earlier this year, a proposal was introduced that would give local councils the right to make key decisions about their poker machines. Now, Auckland Council is showing its support for the bill, hoping that it will improve New Zealand’s poker machine market.
The key provision of the Harm Reduction Bill would give councillors the ability to reduce the number of poker machines in their jurisdictions, but there are a number of other interesting features. The bill would also allow councillors to deem particular venues ‘unsuitable’ for Class 4 gaming machines and present new conditions for the layouts for gaming venues.
“This would give us more powers to influence and take action where we feel the presence of one of these venues is likely to cause severe harm to a particular community, or the location is unsuitable,” says Councillor George Wood.
New details have also been released about the bill. These include the establishment of a new committee to allocate gaming funding as well as requiring venues to take an active role in preventing customers from developing gambling addictions as a result of playing poker machines.