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Wellington City Council looks to impose limit on pokie machines


Wellington City Council is looking to impose a limit on the number of pokie machines in the central city, The Dominion Post reported.

Previously there was no limit in the central zone but councillors meeting on Wednesday voted to cap numbers in a review of its gambling venue policy.

In the decision by the community, sport and recreation committee, the maximum number of pokies allowed in the central area was set at about 310.

This would allow the current number of existing machines, plus give breathing room for a further two venues relocating from suburban areas.

The decision comes as pokie gambling is on the decline in the central city – with the number dropping by 43 per cent since 2003 to about 292 machines.

A staff report to councillors said venues with pokies in the central city were closing at a faster rate than new venues were opening.

Thirty venues had closed since 2003, and only 11 had opened.

The existing policy, adopted in 2010, imposed limits on seven zones across the city – but did not restrict the central zone.

 

 

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