Hutt councillors cap pokie machine numbers

Hutt News 03/08/2010

Hutt councillors have made a significant U-turn on gambling, signing off a new policy that has the potential to greatly reduce the number of pokie machines in the city. The council is required to review its gambling policy every three years and consulted residents on the topic as part of the annual plan. Councillors initially took a bullish approach, giving a strong indication they would not support a reduction in pokie machines or venues. Some rejected a council staff report on the harm caused by gambling, though Barbara Branch and Ray Wallace expressed concerns about gambling’s impact. The gambling review in 2007 drew 33 submissions but this time 609 responses poured in. Most favoured a sinking lid policy to reduce the number of machines.