A recent article from Stuff outlines plans by the Marlborough District Council to decrease the number of gambling machines in the region over time. As of September 2022, there were 97 gambling machines spread across 29 venues in Marlborough. This equates to one machine per 291 residents in the region, which is higher than the national average per 354 people.
The article explains that under new gambling regulations, territorial authorities like the Marlborough District Council can develop relocation policies to reduce the availability of pokie machines. The critical aspects of Marlborough's draft policy focus on limiting the number of venues allowed to host pokies in the future and encouraging operators to shift machines away from high-deprivation areas.
Specifically, the draft suggests reducing the number of pokie venues over ten years until, at most, 18 are left by 2032. There is also an emphasis on avoiding the clustering of venues and not permitting any new gambling rooms to open. If the policy gets approval, it will gradually decrease access to pokies across the Marlborough region.
By taking proactive measures to control gambling machine numbers, the local council aims to limit some of the personal, social, and economic harms associated with problem gambling. Research clearly shows pokie machines clustered in deprived areas contribute heavily to gambling addiction and financial issues for vulnerable community members.
Further analysis will explore how public consultations shape the final policy and monitor whether the measures achieve their goals over the next decade. Gambling reform advocates will likely praise Marlborough's efforts, while the gaming industry will resist proposals threatening its revenue streams.
You can read the original article here: https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/local-democracy-reporting/133447357/number-of-gambling-machines-in-marlborough-set-to-decrease