Gambling and Board Venue Policy Review

Thanks for taking the time to provide your feedback, consultation on the Gambling and Board Venue Policy review has concluded. 
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Gambling and Board Venue Policy review

The council passed the 'Class IV Gambling and Board Venue Policy' on 27th July 2017

Minutes from the meeting and details of the final decision can be found here


In 2004, all local authorities were required to adopt a policy about gambling machines (or pokie machines) in their districts as a requirement of the Gambling Act 2003 (the ‘Gambling Act’) as well as a Policy on TAB Board venues under the Racing Act 2003 (the ‘Racing Act’).

Rotorua Lakes Council (‘Council’) adopted a policy about gambling machines (or pokie machines) and TAB Board Venues in 2004, which is currently the

The council passed the 'Class IV Gambling and Board Venue Policy' on 27th July 2017

Minutes from the meeting and details of the final decision can be found here


In 2004, all local authorities were required to adopt a policy about gambling machines (or pokie machines) in their districts as a requirement of the Gambling Act 2003 (the ‘Gambling Act’) as well as a Policy on TAB Board venues under the Racing Act 2003 (the ‘Racing Act’).

Rotorua Lakes Council (‘Council’) adopted a policy about gambling machines (or pokie machines) and TAB Board Venues in 2004, which is currently the ‘Class IV Gambling and Board Venue Policy 2011’ (‘RLC Gambling Policy’).

The RLC Gambling Policy is made under the Gambling Act 2003 and the Racing Act 2003. In particular, the RLC Gambling Policy:

  • establishes a ‘cap’ of 380 on the number of gambling machines in the district;
  • sets the number of gambling machines allowed per venue (in line with the Gambling Act);
  • allows for the relocation of gambling machines between venues when a venue closes; and
  • establishes certain criteria and conditions about where ‘gambling machine’ venues and TAB Board venues may establish in the Central Business District, other commercial zones and other locations in the district.

As at March 2017 there was one TAB Board Venue in the district, and 26 Class 4 gambling venues licenced to contain 389 gambling machines.

Although the RLC Gambling Policy had the effect of significantly reducing the number of venues and gambling machines in its first five years of operation, the reductions have been far less in the last five years. Indeed, the number of venues and gambling machines has remained at around the same level since 2010. The actual number of gambling machines is currently 382, which is still above the cap of 380 set in 2004.

The RLC Gambling Policy must be occasionally reviewed. This requires consideration of the social impact of gambling in the district. However, in addition to this, the Council commissioned an independent community survey.

The Statement of Proposal and supporting documents include:

Thanks for taking the time to provide your feedback, consultation on the Gambling and Board Venue Policy review has concluded. 
For more ways to have your say visit the homepage to see our current consultations.

Category Independent Community Survey Results   Show all

  • Independent Community Survey Results

    over 2 years ago

    The Council decided at its meeting on 1 December 2016 to supplement the review of the ‘Class 4 Gambling Venue and Board Venue Policy 2011’ with an independent community survey (Minute C16/12/018). Key findings include:

    Rotorua Residents Gambling Habits

    • 389 of the 496 respondents (78.4%) indicated having done some form of gambling over a 6 month period
    • Most popular was entering a NZ raffle like LOTTO (60.7%), followed by entering a competition or purchasing raffle tickets (38.9%) and buying a scratch ticket like Instant Kiwi (30.2%)
    • 40 respondents (8.1%) had played a pokie machine outside a casino (i.e....

    The Council decided at its meeting on 1 December 2016 to supplement the review of the ‘Class 4 Gambling Venue and Board Venue Policy 2011’ with an independent community survey (Minute C16/12/018). Key findings include:

    Rotorua Residents Gambling Habits

    • 389 of the 496 respondents (78.4%) indicated having done some form of gambling over a 6 month period
    • Most popular was entering a NZ raffle like LOTTO (60.7%), followed by entering a competition or purchasing raffle tickets (38.9%) and buying a scratch ticket like Instant Kiwi (30.2%)
    • 40 respondents (8.1%) had played a pokie machine outside a casino (i.e. at a pub or club)
    • Of the respondents, the average spend over a six month period was $435.38. The minimum spend was $1 and the highest $20,870.

    Rotorua Residents Gambling Activity

    • The most money was spent while playing pokie machines despite this only being the sixth highest popular gambling activity
    • Respondents spent on average $1,412.81 playing pokie machines over six months
    • Of the 40 respondents (8.1%) who played pokie machines, the average visit in the six month period was 31.81 visits
    • The average spend was $44.31 per visit
    • The 40 respondents spent $56,512.50 in a six month period playing pokie machines
    • Although only the sixth most popular form of gambling, pokie machines had the highest average spend over the sixth month period.

    Problem Gamblers

    • 81 respondents (16.3%) had been impacted by a problem gambler
    • The highest frequency of effects were not being able to pay bills (6.9%), followed by affecting relationships (5.0%), wasting money (4.2%) and losing savings/going bankrupt (2.4%)

    Pokie Machines in Rotorua

    • Most respondents wanted the number of pokie machines to decrease (with 76.5% indicating a desire to decrease (34.6%) or greatly decrease (41.95))
    • Most respondents wanted the number of venues to decrease (with 75.5% indicating a desire to decrease (39.6%) or greatly decrease (35.9%))

    Location of Pokie Machines

    • In response to information about the current placement of pokie venues in Rotorua (13 in the city centre and 13 in the suburbs), a major issue identifed was the venues in the suburbs that seemed to be targeted at low socio-economic groups. This was followed by a desire for venues to be centralised, with the possibility of a high class Casino
    • A majority of respondents (60.2%) were opposed to (26.1%) or strongly opposed (34.1%) to the ability to move machines around venues in special circumstances.

    Reducing Pokie Machines

    • Most respondents indicated that the numbers of pokie machines should be reduced (87.2%) with 49.4% indicating that the numbers should be reduced at a fast rate and 37.8% indicating that numbers should be reduced at a slow rate.


    Overall, key feedback from the Survey for the policy review is that:

    • Most respondents wanted the number of pokie machines to decrease in the district;
    • Most respondents wanted the number of venues to decrease in the district.