Gambling policies review

Submissions closed on 10 July 2023, 04:00 PM

Slot machine in a dark bar.

We’re proposing to update our gambling policies. The draft policies include a few changes.

Our gambling policies set the number and location of gambling venues in Palmerston North

Council has two gambling policies:

  • The Class 4 Gambling Venue Policy relates to pokies (gaming machines) in pubs and clubs. It is used to decide whether Council will give consent to any new venue, and how many gaming machines the venue can operate. 
  • The Racing Board Venue Policy is used to decide whether Council will give consent to any new TAB venues in the city. It relates to stand-alone TAB venues, not TAB terminals or kiosks inside pubs. 

We are proposing the following changes. For more detailed information, please read the statement of proposal. 

Statement of proposal: Draft gambling policies 2023(PDF, 3MB)

Draft Class 4 Gambling Venue Policy 2023 

We’re proposing 2 main changes to this policy:

  • Changes to clauses 4.1 and 4.2 of the policy with the introduction of a ‘sinking lid’ for venues and pokies. This means that we won’t be issuing any consent for new pokie venues, or for any additional machines in existing venues. The number of venues and machines that we currently have will not go up. They will go down when those venues close down for good, and the machines are removed, but they won’t be replaced.

  • Rewording clause 4.3 in the policy to clarify the conditions in which an applicant would qualify for consent to move premises to a new location. 

Other changes to this policy are minor and required to reflect name changes in a policy or entity.  

Draft TAB Venue Policy 2023

The draft TAB Venue Policy 2023 changes are minor and include things like the name change of an entity (for example the New Zealand Racing Board is now called TAB NZ). 

Next steps

A hearing is expected to be held by our Community Committee in August 2023. We’ll write to all submitters once a date is confirmed. Following this Council will then meet in September to consider all the submissions and decide whether to adopt the updated Class 4 Gambling Venue Policy and TAB Venue Policy.