It’s that time of the year again; regulatory policies are being updated, rules and regulations revised; all bringing about inevitable changes. Such is case at present in the district of the Kãpiti Coast, with Mayor K Gurunathan having revealed that the focus at the moment is on providing clarity to the community as to the processes involved whenever a license-holder applies to move its gambling operations from one venue to another; and also, according to the mayor, in some of the cases, to put into place more effective protection for the benefit of the public.
The legislation governing gambling and betting in the district consists of the local council’s Class 4 Gambling Policy and its TAB Venue Gambling Policy of 2011. Both pieces of legislation are currently being reviewed.
Moving Machines, Moving Licenses
A big part of what has to be handled in a more effective way, and something that according to Gurunathan has been neglected by Council in the past, is the correct procedure to be followed when any operator wants to move its Pokies to a new location. Also, said the mayor, the correct procedure to be followed when a business wants to close its doors; more specifically then, what happens to the Pokies machines licenses in a situation of closing up shop.
The main issue at hand; and this is no foreign or unusual challenge in terms of a global approach to licensing policies; is that relocation may in some instances mean that licenses are transferred to areas or regions where people are more exposed or more vulnerable to the risks of problem gambling.
Inviting Community Involvement
According to the new proposed rules, whenever any operator wants to move its games activities to a new venue in future, that operator would have to state its intention to the relevant gaming authorities, after which the citizens of the area to which the operator hopes to be headed with its plans to set up new shop, will be granted the opportunity to voice their opinions on the matter. This will be done by means of a public notice and invitation for comments.
Pokies are widely regarded as a major concern in terms of being closely connected to the dynamic of problem gambling behaviour, and especially in New Zealand. Communities all across the country have started to demand more effective safeguards in an attempt to offer protection to those who are classified as vulnerable citizens.