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New Zealand Gambling Venue Policy Reviewed

7 September 2005

NEW ZEALAND – (PRESS RELEASE) -- Palmerston North City Council adopted the Gambling Venue Policy in 2004, under the Gambling Act 2003. A review has been conducted in 2005 to check on the performance of the policy.

The review found that the sinking lid adopted in 2004 was unlikely to have any impact on the incidence of Problem Gambling in Palmerston North and had created unintended difficulties for local clubs and businesses. The Ministry of Health and Department of Internal Affairs are responsible for minimising harm. The Department of Internal Affairs is introducing new rules and regulations and the Ministry of Health has developed a strategy "Preventing and Minimising Gambling Harm" and is receiving significant increases in funding for implementing the strategy.

Based on these findings Council decided to adopt a lid on the number of machines at 2005 levels, and allow clubs that merge or relocate to retain their existing machine numbers, up to a maximum of 18 machines. The policy was also restructured and added NZ Racing Board to the title and appropriate sections to ensure it explicitly covers NZ Racing Board venues.

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