TAB and Gambling Venue Policies Consultation

Submissions are now closed. Council will post updates here, as they become available.

If you would like to make a late submission on the TAB and Gambling Venue policies, please contact Council on 0800 732 732.

Introduction

Southland District Council is reviewing its TAB Venue Policy and its Gambling Venue Policy.

The TAB (formerly Board) Venue Policy is about racing/sports betting venues and the Gambling Venue Policy is about venues that have electronic gaming machines (pokies).

Council is seeking feedback on the draft policies over a submission period that will run from 8am 13 May 2022 to 5pm 13 June 2022. People who make a written submission can request to also make an oral submission to Councillors.

Background information

What is required?

The Gambling Act 2003 and Racing Industry Act 2020 control gambling within New Zealand. This legislation focusses on ensuring that the harm that gambling can cause is minimised, and that the community benefits from the proceeds of gambling.

These acts require councils to have policies on TAB venues and gambling venues.

A TAB venue policy must specify whether or not new TAB venues may be established in a district and, if so, where they may be located. TAB venues are owned or leased by the TAB New Zealand (formerly New Zealand Racing Board) and the main business carried out at the premises is providing racing-betting or sports-betting services. A TAB venue policy does not relate to TAB outlets in pubs and clubs - only stand-alone TAB venues.

A gambling venue policy must specify whether or not gambling machine venues (venues that have ‘pokie’ machines that are not a casino) may be established in a district and, if so, where they may be located. Councils can also specify any restrictions on the maximum number of gaming machines that may be operated at a gambling machine venue, and any policy on relocating gaming machines.

Social impact of gambling

Council has considered the social impact of gambling in the Southland District when developing these policies. Some key facts identified include:

  • the number of electronic gambling machines in the District has reduced by 34% between 31 March 2013 and 30 September 2021 (133 machines down to 88)
  • there are currently no TAB venues in the Southland District
  • a number of the gaming machines in the District are in towns that have high deprivation index scores
  • gambling has benefits to the community through its contribution to community funding
  • gaming machine proceeds in the Southland District, and the proportion generated in the Southland District relative to the rest of New Zealand, are reasonably stable. The proceeds generated have been decreasing slightly over the last eight years although this has been impacted by Covid-19 lockdowns in 2020 and 2021.

What is proposed?

Council’s draft TAB and Gambling Venue policies are included with this proposal as attachments A and B. Download the draft policy

The draft policies are largely the same as Council’s current policies - there have only been minor changes to wording such as replacing references from board to TAB for consistency with the updated legislation in the Racing Industry Act 2020, rather than changes to policy content.

The draft TAB Venue Policy states that any new stand-alone TAB venue must comply with the provisions of the Southland District Plan. There are zoning restrictions in the plan that would impact factors such as whether a resource consent would be required for a TAB venue, and the permitted opening hours, lighting etc that would apply in particular zones.

The draft Gambling Venue Policy maintains a ‘soft sinking lid’ approach to electronic gambling machines. This soft sinking lid approach allows venues to continue operating existing machines, but it does not permit licences for new machines. The draft policy also states that if a venue closes, the licence to have machines can be transferred to another venue.

The reasons for the proposal

The main reasons for this proposal are to:

  • meet the requirements of the Gambling Act 2003 and the Racing Industry Act 2020 for a 3-yearly review of the policies
  • seek feedback on the policy approach from the community
  • where appropriate, update the policies and refine wording/formatting.

How to have your say

Submissions are now closed.

If you would like to make a late submission on the TAB and Gambling Venue policies, please contact Council on 0800 732 732.

Anyone can make a submission below.

Submissions will be accepted from 8am on 13 May 2022 and must be received by 5pm on 13 June 2022.

All submissions should state:

  • the submitter’s name
  • the submitter’s contact details
  • whether or not the submitter would like to speak to Council about this matter.

If you need help submitting please contact Council at 0800 732 732, or call in to one of Council’s offices. All written submissions made to Council will be acknowledged and made available to the public.

Council intends to hold a hearing on this matter on 22 June 2022. This is when anyone who has made a written submission and who has said they would like to speak to Council, can do so at a Council meeting. This meeting is open to the public. If you indicate you would like to be heard, Council staff will get in touch with you to arrange a time for you to speak at the hearing. If at the hearing you have any requirements, such as that you would like to speak via video conference or you would like to use sign language, please let us know.

Timetable for consultation

The dates below outline the timetable for the consultation process. Any changes to these dates will be publically advised on Council’s Facebook page and website.

Date

Activity

11 May 2022

Council adopts the proposal for consultation

13 May 2022

Consultation period begins (8am)

13 June 2022

Consultation period ends (5pm)

22 June 2022

Oral submissions heard by Council (at Council offices, 15 Forth St, Invercargill)

13 July 2022

Council considers and adopts the draft policies

Options

Council has two possible options on how it could proceed. These are to:

  • option 1 – adopt the draft policies, or
  • option 2 – adopt amended policies (this may be adopting a more restrictive or a more liberal approach to TAB venues or gambling venues)

The advantages and disadvantages of these options are outlined below.

Option 1 – adopt the draft policies

Advantages Disadvantages
the soft sinking lid approach assists in the gradual decline of electronic gaming machines, which may contribute to a reduction in gambling related harm amended policies may better reflect community/stakeholder views
balances the harm that can be caused by gambling with the benefits the money from gambling can bring to people in the District amended policies may strike a better balance between the harm that can be caused by gambling and the benefits the money from gambling can bring to people in the District. 
Council is legislatively required to have policies on TAB and gambling venues and the current policies are legally compliant  
the draft TAB and Gambling Venue policies are consistent with the approach of other territorial authorities within the Southland Region  
this option will enable staff to progress and meet the requirement to review the policy by 21 August 2022.  

Option 2 – adopt amended policies (this may be adopting a more restrictive or a more liberal approach to TAB venues or gambling venues)

Advantages

Disadvantages

amended policies may better reflect community/stakeholder views amended polices may not strike a balance between the harm that can be caused by gambling and the benefits the money from gambling can bring to people in the District.
Council is legislatively required to have policies on TAB and gambling venues  
this option will enable staff to progress and meet the requirement to review the policy by 21 August 2022.  

 

Download the draft policy