The entire casino industry in Wellington, NZ, might be preparing for one of the most significant shocks they ever endured. As a way to tackle problem gambling, a controversial policy and law is being propped and considered. The new policy is titled the “Sinking Lid.” The new regulation, if approved and put into effect, will drain the land-based pokies in the capital city of the country and the surrounding areas in time.
The Sinking Lid Policy – Wellington New Zealand
The new law is going to prevent new operations from getting any new pokie licenses. That alone would prevent the increase in the number of pokies. That is not all, as it will simultaneously prevent the transference of pokies to other casinos. Therefore, that means that eventually, the number of pokie machines will be reduced slowly over time. The new policy saw the light during a council meeting by Tamatha Paul, the Wellington Councilor. On the other hand, there is not any confirmation or how seriously the regulation is being considered.
The Current Pokie Situation in Wellington
Currently, there are 633 electronic pokie gambling machines in the NZ city of Wellington. If the entire region is taking into the count, the number will increase to 938 pokie machines. The purpose of the policy is to decrease that number by 87 machines. The zones that are going to be affected by the policy include Onslow-Western, Wharangi, Pukehinau, and Lambton.
That is not all, as it seems that another previously scraped law and rule might become effective. That regulation stated that any gambling machine that pokie machines cannot exist in venues that are not casinos. Therefore, all venues that offered pokies, and are not casino establishments will not be able to offer them anymore. Thus, with the new Sinking Lid policy, venues will not be able to transfer pokies to other casinos as well.
Speaking Against the Sinking Lid Policy
The Sinking Lid is a profoundly controversial policy. Many groups are pointing out that the new policy will result in a drastic loss in funding. The reason behind this statement is that many Wellington organizations receive almost NZD61 million from clubs and pubs, and other non-casino venues. The fields of these organizations include sports, environment protection, arts, health as well as education. Hence, the policy would have devastating results. There is only one solution on the table. That solution is for the council to take over the task of funding these operations and organizations. There are even anti-gambling groups that are voicing their concern against it, as they can lose a lot of their funding.
The CEO of Sport Wellington, Phil Gibbons, quickly made it clear that these new regulations are unacceptable. He stated that the locals need to be educated on the importance of funding from the pokies, especially the sports sector. On the other hand, the Problem Gambling Foundation shot back though Paula Snowden. She stated that the money is from people who cannot afford it and that pokie machines are not a valid solution for the city’s financial problems.