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Tauranga City Council Passes ‘Sinking Lid’ Policy on Gambling

In an effort to reduce the negative impact gambling has on the Tauranga City, officials passed the ‘sinking lid’ policy. As a result, it will gradually decline gambling in the city. Under this ‘sinking lid’ legislation, no new gambling machines or venues will be approved. The policy kicks in on March 14th.

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Tauranga City Concerned About Gambling’s Effect on Poor Communities

Local authorities voted in this policy on February 14th. Moreover, Tauranga City said that existing gambling venues will have the opportunity to relocate, under certain conditions. One of those conditions relates to poor residential areas.

Currently, under active laws defined by their national index, casino operators are only allowed to operate at least 100 metres away from a residential area affected by high levels of social inequality and deprivation. The index includes Yatton Park and Matapihi as the most unequal cities.

‘Sinking Lid’ Policy Meets Almost Unanimous Agreement

The ‘sinking lid’ policy comes after there were city-wide public consultations on the Gambling Venues Policy 2019. Consequently, the survey on the Tauranga City’s website found that 63% of local taxpayers voted in favour of the ‘sinking lid’ policy in their city. Furthermore, former problem gamblers and organisations aimed at dealing with problem gambling also approved of the policy.

However, there is some opposition to the policy. Some community, social, and sporting groups spoke out against the policy laid out by Tauranga City. They said limiting gambling in the area would equal in lower funding from gambling businesses. Current gambling laws have a proviso that gambling operators must provide a part of their revenue to the community.

Tauranga City’s Future Policy Against Gambling

In the next three years, they will review the effects of the policy. Additionally, the Tauranga City Council will consider applying the ‘sinking lid’ policy to more gambling venues in growth areas like Te Tumu and Tauriko in Pāpāmoa.

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