New Zealand will limit the distribution of slot machines

24 October 2018

The authorities of Tauranga (New Zealand) proposed to limit the growth of the gambling business and reduce the number of slot machines in the city.

The existing rules allow licensing one slot machine for 220 city residents. Now the authorities want to find out if they should limit gambling even more. Public hearings will continue until November 16. Local residents can share their opinions on the number of slot machines located in Tauranga.

Terry Molloy, chairman of the Tauranga City Council’s Committee on Culture, noted that the hearings are designed to mitigate the social and economic consequences of gambling abuse. According to him, this way the city will be able to remain “safe, stable and healthy with a successful and prosperous population.”

Our approach will still allow people to participate in responsible gambling, but we want to complicate access to gambling activities. And this opinion is shared by Tauranga society. Last year, we interviewed residents about revising the rules for using slot machines in the city, and nearly two-thirds of the answer was in favor of reducing the number of machines. Public discussions will allow to study the problem more deeply and make a final decision,” - said Terry Molloy.

If the new gambling policy is supported by the public during the hearings, then licensed operators will be allowed to work exclusively in commercial or industrial areas located at least 100 meters from residential areas.

However, 36 licensed sites currently invest part of their income in sports clubs, local organizations and racing industry. The authorities say that the new policy implies a gradual reduction in the number of slot machines and gambling sites, so organizations will have time to search for alternative sources of funding.

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