For immediate release
Invercargill City Council Urged to Make an Evidence-Based Gambling Venue Policy Decision
The Invercargill City Council is currently reviewing its gambling venue policy.
The Gaming Machine Association of New Zealand supports the proposal to cap the number of gaming machines at 247. In 2003, Invercargill City had 366 gaming machines. The city currently only has 245 gaming machines (a 33% reduction).
Mr Robertson asked that a balanced, evidence-based decision be made. The evidence does not support a more restrictive policy being adopted. There is no direct correlation between gaming machine numbers and problem gambling rates. Over the last ten years, the problem gambling rate has remained the same, despite gaming machine numbers declining rapidly (4,618 gaming machines have been removed from the New Zealand market).
Playing a gaming machine at one of the local gaming venues is, however, a popular form of entertainment, which generates over $6.4 million annually in community funding.
The gaming funding generated is used to support sports clubs such as Hockey Southland, Bluff Yacht Club and the Invercargill Netball Centre; local schools including New River Primary School; and other community groups such as Murihiku Maori & Cultural Trust, Invercargill Musical Theatre, and Invercargill City Libraries & Archives.
Mr Robertson warned that erosion of the community funding infrastructure was leading to more and more grant applications being declined, due to a lack of available funds for distribution.
Mr Robertson urged community groups to make a submission to council detailing what they have been able to achieve with the funding obtained. Submissions can be made on the policy by clicking the “consultation” link on the home page of council’s website. Submissions close 26 July 2019.
17 July 2019
Gaming Machine Association of New Zealand
027 440 0650