Western Bay of Plenty has adopted a new policy which mandates that there would be no new gambling venues or gaming machines installed in the jurisdiction.
The Western Bay District council agreed upon making changes to the Class 4 Gambling Venues Policy and TAB Venues Policy.
The change is the policy is aimed at minimizing the gambling harm as there had been increased cases of gambling addiction in the district.
While the new policy completely bans any ne gambling establishment and gaming machines, it also curtails permissions for existing gambling venues to increase the number of gaming and slot machines.
Moreover, relocating a gaming machine venue is also prohibited and the game houses or clubs merging to create a bigger establishment would not be allowed to host gaming machines.
In the Western Bay of Plenty District, there are 154 machines and 11 gaming venues.
Western Bay Mayor Garry Webber said: “The community has spoken and we think on balance that this reflects what the community wants.”
“This policy is the opportunity for Council and the community to influence gambling in the District and helps contribute to minimizing gambling harm.
“The changes aim to better regulate the impact of gambling in the District. By controlling the growth of gambling and minimizing the harm caused, we are still enabling people to participate in responsible gambling if they wish to do so,” he added.
The city council had previously adopted a gambling policy back in 2013.