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To: Wellington City Council

No more pokies in Wellington!

We are asking the Wellington City Council to implement a sinking lid policy. That will mean the Council will refuse any TAB, pub or club that applies to host pokies. This will, over time, reduce the number of pokie machines in Wellington City.

We know that Wellington City Council can do the right thing and listen to the people in their community. The council can make the changes to respond to the harm pokies are causing.

We ask the Wellington City Council to implement a gambling venues policy that introduces a sinking lid that provides:

★ A ban on any new venues including TAB venues: No new pokies venues will be permitted in Wellington.

★ No relocations: If a venue with pokies is forced to close or voluntarily closes, the Council will not permit the pokie machines to be relocated to any venue within the Council area.

★ No venue mergers: Where pubs and clubs that host pokies merge, they will no longer be permitted to host pokies.

I make these recommendations as they constitute a public health approach to gambling harm.

*Your name, address, phone number, and email address are required for this official submission and will be for Council use only.*

Why is this important?

Wellington City Council is seeking feedback on its proposed gambling venues policy for electronic gaming machines, more commonly known as ‘pokies’. The Council has powers to determine which TABs, pubs and clubs can host pokie machines.

The current policy limits the number of machines in certain areas, but we would like the policy to include a ‘sinking lid’. That means no new pokies venues would be able to open in the Wellington area. We think a sinking lid is the best policy available to reduce the number of pokie machines and reduce gambling harm.

Currently Wellington City has 633 pokie machines across 40 venues. In 2019, people in Wellington lost over a staggering $40 million on these machines.

Some people support pokies because the gambling losses are used to fund community groups. But only 40% of the losses are returned to the community and not always into the community it comes from.

Pokies are highly addictive and are the most harmful form of gambling. It is estimated that 30% of the money lost on pokies comes from people experiencing harm. Pokies outside casinos make up almost 50% of the people who seek help about their gambling. Pokie machines in Wellington are clustered in the most deprived neighbourhoods in the city where people can least afford to lose significant amounts of money.

Council’s consultation process is public and your comments will be available for public inspection. Submissions are open until 1 October 2020. Your submission won’t be returned to you, so if you require a copy, please make one before submitting.

Your name, address, phone number, and email address are required for this official submission and will be for Council use only.

If you require a special private hearing where your identity will be protected and you have experienced gambling harm, please contact PGF Group on 0800 664 262.

Wellington, New Zealand

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2020-09-17 07:25:21 +1200

100 signatures reached

2020-09-10 11:22:49 +1200

50 signatures reached

2020-09-08 13:44:53 +1200

25 signatures reached

2020-09-04 14:57:38 +1200

10 signatures reached