Rotorua pokies to stay but changes in wind

Daily Post (Rotorua) 26th February 2011
Pokie machines will not be banned in Rotorua but some minor changes to the city’s gambling policy could be approved by the district council. A hearing to discuss and hear submissions on the Rotorua District Council’s Class Four Gambling Venue and Board Venue Policy 2011, covering the use, distribution and number of pokie machines and TABs allowed in Rotorua, was held on Monday. A total of 35 submissions was received, 14 of which were heard in person, including representatives from Family First, The Lion Foundation, Surf Life Saving New Zealand, local machine operators and the Problem Gambling Foundation of New Zealand. The council introduced its policy in 2004 when there were 518 pokie machines in the city, and a cap of 380 machines was also introduced. Rotorua now has 411 pokie machines, and the 380-machine cap will eventually be reached through premises closing.