Highly involved in the up and coming Pokies scene, Auckland City is also the proud host of one of New Zealand’s biggest casinos, SkyCity. Opening in 1996, SkyCity was the second Casino to open, in the country. You can easily find and access other pokie machines at various bars and pubs scattered across the city.
Over recent years, the number of pokie machines across Auckland has stayed the same and yet there has been a large increase in the amount of money being put into pokies. As a result, it is believed that many are blaming accessibility for the increase.
Of all profits from gaming machines, about 40 percent goes back into the community through various trusts. This money forms the backbone of numerous organizations. There is no legislation to ensure that the money goes back to the same community it came out of.
Current Machine Numbers
Two questions regularly asked are;
1. is there a limit to the number of machines a bar can have?
Yes. Depending on when the venue’s license was granted, the limit may vary between nine and 18. The maximum number is 18 if it was before October 2001. Whereas, if it was after October 2001 the maximum number is nine.
2. Is there any limit on the number of pokie machines in a district?
The Gambling Act requires any territorial authorities to adopt a policy in the location of Class 4 gambling venues. It must be specified whether Class 4 venues may be established in the territorial authority district, and if so, where they may be located. It may specify restrictions as to the maximum number of operating gaming machines.
Local councils also have class 4 venue policies which may typically include:
- an ability to relocate 18 machine venues to new sites
- caps on the number of venues
- total number of gaming machines
- A ‘sinking lid’ policy
Class 4 Venues
Venues must be entirely non-commercial and be established to raise funds for “authorized” or community purposes. Class 4 gambling involves non-casino electronic gaming machines, hosted in pubs and clubs.
‘Sinking Lid’ Policy.
The Auckland City Council is considering a ‘sinking lid’ policy for pokie machines. Meaning that the council will act upon their responsibility to reduce harm from gambling. Doing so by restricting the openings of new pokies venues over time, as well as the replacement of any closed down pokies venues. With this policy in place, the number of pokies in Auckland will reduce.
Auckland hosts 4,183 pokie machines across 305 different venues throughout the city. Problem gambling figures suggest that 40 percent of the money ‘lost’, comes from problem gamblers. Designed to be both costly and addictive, pokies machines are the most harmful mode of gambling. Social Gambling is causing an enormous amount of social harm. For every problem gambler, there are approximately 9-12 people who it is adversely affecting. These people are mainly children.
so, all-in-all the objectives are;
- To control the growth of gambling in Auckland.
- To minimise the harm caused by gambling in Auckland.
You may be happy to hear that the council does not have any control over gambling at the Sky City Casino. As a government legislation regulates this. In return for a national convention centre, the Government is unashamedly considering changing the law in order to allow hundreds more pokie machines at Sky City. There is evidence that this will increase problem gambling. As well as Reduce the amount of money returned to the local community by gaming machines.
National Convention Centre
In exchange for a 3500-seat,$402 million National Convention Centre, the government is allowing Sky City 230 more pokie machines, 40 more gaming tables, new cashless gambling technology and a 35-year extension to their gambling license. Talks are “commercially sensitive” but the centre will be a major asset for the country. Employing 1000 people to build and a further 800 to run, the centre will also provide a $90m boost to the economy.