Class 4 Gaming Venue and Board Venue Policy Review

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Review of Gaming and Board Venue policy

At Hutt City Council we are reviewing the use of pokies (Class 4 gaming) machines across Te Awa Kairangi as part of our wider vision to create a city of thriving communities.



The consultation is now closed. Thank you for providing your feedback. The final policy can be viewed on the right-hand sidebar.


A range of options for regulating and administering the number of gambling machines and venues are proposed as part of a public consultation on our Gaming and Board Venue policy.

They are:

Review of Gaming and Board Venue policy

At Hutt City Council we are reviewing the use of pokies (Class 4 gaming) machines across Te Awa Kairangi as part of our wider vision to create a city of thriving communities.



The consultation is now closed. Thank you for providing your feedback. The final policy can be viewed on the right-hand sidebar.


A range of options for regulating and administering the number of gambling machines and venues are proposed as part of a public consultation on our Gaming and Board Venue policy.

They are:

  • reducing gambling machine numbers and venues across Lower Hutt over time, not allowing relocation or mergers
  • reducing gambling machines to a cap of 325 (bringing us into line with the national average per capita), and encouraging venues to move to the central business districts of Petone and Lower Hutt
  • continuing with the current policy.

Our vision

Our vision is to create a city where everyone thrives, so we are reviewing the Gaming and Board Venue policy using this vision as our guiding principle.

Our city has a higher than average number of pokie machines, and higher gambling expenditure per capita than the national average. In addition, many of our gambling machines are in our poorest communities. This creates challenges and vulnerabilities for those who live there.

It’s a tricky issue: gambling places pressures on vulnerable families and communities. On the flip side community groups contribute a lot to our city through their activities, and we want to support their ability to continue doing that.

Our aim

We want to adopt a wellbeing approach to our policy review by being more alert to the issues surrounding gambling and the harm it can cause.

Our preferred approach would be to reduce the number of gambling machines to a cap of 325. This will not impact the funds available to sport and community organisations from the proceeds of gambling in the medium-term, giving everyone time to consider alternative sources of funding for community projects.

What we know

As part of our work on this policy review, we completed a Social Impact Assessment (SIA) and commissioned a report from the New Zealand Institute of Economic Research (NZIER) on the economic impact of pokie machines in the city.

The SIA shows:

  • the proportion of funds allocated from gambling machine proceeds collected in Te Awa Kairangi ki Tai Lower Hutt has varied from almost 30 percent in 2017 to a low of 16 percent in 2019 (excluding clubs).

The NZIER report found:

  • Analysis of employment data indicates Class 4 gaming imposes a cost on the wider New Zealand retail sector (economic cost) calculated at $445 million in 2018/19.
  • Lower Hutt residents have greater exposure to pokie machines (there are 4 machines per 1000 population in Lower Hutt. This compares with 2.9 gambling machines per 1000 population nationally). Our city also has more venues per 1000 population than nationally.
  • Over 90 of the current 425 pokie machines are in the poorest parts of Lower Hutt.
  • Lower Hutt has the highest gambling machine profit per capita and per adult, compared to councils with similar sized populations (Palmerston North, Hastings, Tauranga, and Whangarei).
Page last updated: 16 December 2021, 11:41