Tell us what you think about our Gambling Venues Policy

1 September 2020

Wellington City Council is seeking to renew its Gambling Venues Policy in accordance with the Gambling Act 2003.

Picture of pokie machines

Consultation opens today (1 September) to provide feedback on your preferred option.

The Council has had a Gambling Venues Policy since 2004. It has actively managed the number of Class 4 gambling machines in Wellington. Class 4 gambling refers to non-casino gaming machines, commonly known as pokies.

The Council’s Gambling Venues Policy is limited in its powers and abilities to regulate gambling. The Council only has influence on where venues are and how many pokie machines are at each venue. It does not have the power to close any existing venues.

Council officers have provided an issues paper on the social impacts of gambling for further background information.

We are asking the public their preferred option for renewing the Gambling Venues Policy:

  • Option A is to implement a sinking lid, which allows no new venues or machines in Wellington – this is the Council’s preferred option.
  • Option B is to lower the caps on the maximum number of machines by 87, align the zone names to the 2019 Representation Review and reinstate the Primary Activities Clause.
  • Option C is for no change to the existing policy or another option not listed.

Councillor Tamatha Paul, the Council's associate Community Wellbeing portfolio holder, says she understands that there are many sports teams and organisations that receive funding from Class 4 gambling and may be concerned about the impact of a sinking lid. However, a sinking lid is a long-term solution and provides plenty of time for these groups and the government to look at more ethical and sustainable funding arrangements.

“What we are most concerned with is the harm that pokie machines cause within our communities and while we are limited in our powers, we are committed to doing what we can to reduce that harm,” says Cr Paul.

To have your say on the Gambling Venues Policy or to find out more information about the proposed options please visit: https://www.letstalk.wellington.govt.nz/gambling-venues-policy

Printed copies of the Statement of Proposal and submission form are available from: