HuttCity_TeAwaKairangi_BLACK_AGENDA_COVER

 

 

class 4 gaming venue and board venue policy Hearings Subcommittee

 

 

 

11 November 2021

 

 

 

Order Paper for the meeting to be held in the

Council Chambers, 2nd Floor, 30 Laings Road, Lower Hutt,

on:

 

 

 

Thursday 18 November 2021 commencing at 9.00am

 

 

This hearing will be held under Alert Level 2

 

 

 

The purpose of the hearing is to consider the draft Class 4 Gaming Venue and Board Venue Policy

 

Membership

 

 

Mayor C Barry

Cr J Briggs

Cr K Brown

Cr S Edwards

Cr D Hislop

Deputy Mayor Lewis

Cr A Mitchell

Cr N Shaw

 

 

For the dates and times of Council Meetings please visit www.huttcity.govt.nz

 


 

 

 

HUTT CITY COUNCIL

CLASS 4 GAMING VENUE AND BOARD VENUE POLICY HEARINGS Subcommittee

 

Hearing to be held in the Council Chambers, 2nd Floor, 30 Laings Road, Lower Hutt on

 Thursday 18 November 2021 commencing at 9.00am.

 

ORDER PAPER

 

 

 

 

1.              APPOINTMENT OF CHAIR

2.       APOLOGIES

3.       CONFLICT OF INTEREST DECLARATIONS       

Members are reminded of the need to be vigilant to stand aside from decision making when a conflict arises between their role as a member and any private or other external interest they might have.   

4.       RECOMMENDATION TO THE KOMITI RATONGA RANGATŌPŪ ME TE RAUTAKI | POLICY, FINANCE AND STRATEGY COMMITTEE – 2 DECEMBER 2021

Class 4 Gaming Venue and Board Venue Policy 2021 - 2024 (21/1844)

Report No. HSC2021/5/275 by the Head of Strategy and Planning                       4

A preliminary timetable for the hearing of submissions will be separately circulated when available.

 

View submissions here - http://www.huttcity.govt.nz/Your-Council/Have-your-say/Consulting-on/class-4-gambling-venue-and-board-venue-policy-review/

 

 

 

 

 

Judy Randall
Democrary Advisor

 


                                                                                       0                                                 18 November 2021

CLASS 4 GAMING VENUE AND BOARD VENUE POLICY HEARINGS SUBCOMMITTEE

10 November 2021

 

 

 

File: (21/1844)

 

 

 

 

Report no: HSC2021/5/275

 

Class 4 Gaming Venue and Board Venue Policy 2021 - 2024

 

Purpose of Report

1.    The purpose of the report is to provide the subcommittee with the findings of the engagement and consultation for the review of Council’s Class 4 Gaming Venue and Board Venue Policy 2015; and recommend a new direction for the policy based on public feedback and the evidence supporting this change in Te Awa Kairangi ki Tai Lower Hutt.

Recommendations

That the Subcommittee recommends that the Policy, Finance and Strategy Committee recommends that Council:

(1)   notes that the Gambling Act 2003 requires Councils to adopt a Class 4 Gaming and Board Venue Policy and to review this every three years;

(2)   notes that the Gambling Act requires Councils to set a Class 4 Gaming and Board Venue Policy and that Councils’ powers are limited to regulating and administering class 4 gaming;

(3)   notes the Gambling Act requires Council to adopt a policy to influence the extent and minimise the impacts of Class 4 gaming in the city;

(4)   notes that the Special Consultative Procedure as set out in the Local Government Act 2002 was used for consultation on this policy;

(5)   notes that as well as the Special Consultative Procedure, engagement and consultation consisted of:

a)    several hui with Mana Whenua during the development of the draft Gambling Venue and Board Venue Policy;

b)    an independent survey;

c)    written submissions – all gaming trusts, venues and organisations listed on the Parks and Recreation and Sports Club Diary 2020 were notified in writing about the consultation; and

d)    flyer drop in key areas of the city where gaming venues are located;

(6)     notes that there were three options outlined and discussed in the report in the engagement and consultation material:

a)     Option 1: Wellbeing approach – sinking lid;

b)     Option 2: Status quo; and

c)     Option 3: Implementing a per capita cap on machines and venues across the city;

(7)     notes the summary of submissions attached as Appendix 1 to the report;

(8)     considers the full submissions (click here) and submissions analysis, attached as Appendix 1 to the report; and

(9)     notes that officers recommend Option 1, sinking lid, with one minor change as follows:

There will be no new class 4 venues permitted in Council owned buildings.

 

For the reason that under the Gambling Act 2003 Council is required to adopt a Class 4 Gaming and Board Venue Policy to influence the extent and minimise the impacts of Class 4 gaming.

 

Background

2.    At its hui on 14 September 2021 the Policy, Finance and Strategy Committee agreed to undertake consultation on three options for Council’s Gaming Venue and Board Venue Policy and endorsed the Summary of Proposal and Statement of Proposal which are required to undertake a Special Consultative Procedure.

3.    A subcommittee comprising the Mayor, Deputy Mayor, Chairs of Committees and two other Councillors was appointed to hear submissions on the options for the Class 4 Gaming Venue and Board Venue Policy and make a recommendation to Council.

4.    The consultation began on Tuesday 5 October 2021 and closed at 5.00pm on Wednesday 10 November 2021.

Discussion

5.    The review of the Class 4 Gaming Venue and Board Venue Policy 2015 is required by the Gambling Act 2003 (the Act) and was undertaken using Council’s vision as a guiding principle. The review included a social impact assessment (SIA) and a report by the New Zealand Institute of Economic Research (NZIER) on the impact of Class 4 gaming in the city.

6.    Under the Act, Council’s powers are limited to regulating and administering Class 4 gaming.  The Act requires Council to set a Class 4 gaming venue policy to influence the extent of, and minimise the impacts of, Class 4 gaming in the city. It enables Council to control where venues can be established and limit the permitted number of gaming machines at each venue. 

7.    Council’s policy can cap the number of gaming machines, set limits on the number of venues, take a position on merging locations and on relocating machines and venues, and proactively regulate venues with gaming machines. It cannot close Class 4 gaming venues. Additionally, the policy position provides an opportunity for Council to manage council owned buildings in relation to Class 4 gaming.

8.    The SIA found that the current policy has been largely unsuccessful in achieving the stated objectives of controlling the growth of Class 4 gaming machine numbers in Te Awa Kairangi ki Tai Lower Hutt and putting in place measures to reduce the harm caused by problem gambling.  In contrast, Council’s policy has had the effect of prioritising the availability of Class 4 gaming proceeds for community and Council projects above the harms caused to individuals, whānau, and the community.

9.    While not all the proceeds available are returned to Te Awa Kairangi ki Tai Lower Hutt, distribution to national or regional groups such Riding for the Disabled, Coastguard Wellington, Heartkids Wellington, and Wellington Regional Ambulance does benefit people in our community who need or use the services these organisations provide locally.

10.  There is a tension between the harm that can occur in the community through problem gambling and the benefit to some organisations from funding granted by trusts that manage the distribution of Class 4 gaming proceeds.  Many organisations are caught in a ‘funding trap’ and are becoming increasingly reliant on gaming machine proceeds as other sources decrease or disappear. The number of volunteers is reducing and raising funds through traditional community activities is more difficult to achieve.

11.  Local community, sports and service organisations are likely to face reducing availability of funds from Class 4 gaming machines if there is a sudden and significant drop in numbers of gaming machines in the near future. 

12.  However, given that expenditure on gaming machines has continued to rise despite a decrease of 60 machines since 2015, a policy limiting the growth of gaming machines in the city is unlikely to have an immediate or medium-term impact on the level of funds available to community organisations. 


 

Options

13.  The three options consulted on were:

a.       Option 1 – wellbeing approach – sinking lid.  This is the officer’s recommended option.

b.       Option 2 – status quo.

c.       Option 3 - implementing a per capita cap on machines and venues across the city.


1.     Wellbeing approach – sinking lid

2.     Status quo

3.     Per capita approach (uses a population based cap on number of machines and venues in the city)

Prevent new gaming machine venues from opening and reduce the number of gaming machines over time.

Retain the current policy without amendment.

Continue to prohibit the location of C4 gaming venues in suburban areas and encourage a limited number of venues to relocate to the two commercial areas.[1] Place some additional obligations on venue owners.

Objectives

·       to reduce C4 gaming machine numbers and venues in Te Awa Kairangi ki Tai Lower Hutt;

·       to adopt public health approaches to prevent and minimise harm from gambling to support community problem gambling service providers, and monitor C4 Gaming venues;

·       to provide community access to information about the funds produced and distributed from C4 gaming within the city; and

·       to facilitate community involvement in decisions about the provision of C4 gaming in Te Awa Kairangi ki Tai Lower Hutt.

 

Current objectives

·       to control the growth of C4 gaming machine numbers in Lower Hutt

·       put in place measures to reduce the harm caused by problem gambling

Objectives

·       to reduce C4 gaming machine numbers and venues in Te Awa Kairangi ki Tai Lower Hutt;

·       to adopt public health approaches to prevent and minimise harm from gambling, support community problem gambling service providers, and monitor C4 gaming venues;

·       to provide community access to information about the funds produced and distributed from C4 gaming within the city; and

·       to facilitate community involvement in decisions about the provision of C$ gaming in Te Awa Kairangi ki Tai Lower Hutt.

Sinking lid policy introduced

Leave cap as it is i.e. 545

Reduce cap to the national average per capita – 325 machines and 25 venues.

No new gaming machine licences  granted

Retain relocation policy

Retain relocation policy

No merger of venues

Retain merger policy

Remove merger policy – treat as new application

Venue licences cannot be transferred to a new location

Social impact assessment not a current requirement

Social impact assessment completed by venue owner

Establish council operational policy on C4 gaming machines in council owned buildings – remove machines when policy approved

No policy or restriction on C4 gaming machines in Council owned buildings

Establish council operational policy on C4 gaming machines in council owned buildings – no new machines in venues but no effect on current venues

Establish council policy on gaming machine funds – do not apply for these funds

No policy on Council use of gaming machine funds

No policy on council use of gaming machine funds – reduce then exclude over 3 year period of Class 4 Policy

Kaitiaki (operational) approach

  Location assessed as appropriate 

  All applications incur a licensing fee

  Best practice guidelines

  Gaming venues assessed as part of routine enforcement work

  Self-excluded patrons supported

  Non-club Class 4 to provide additional evidence of primary business sustainability.

Status quo operations

Kaitiaki (operational) approach

  Location assessed as appropriate 

  All applications incur a licensing fee

  Best practice guidelines

  Gaming venues assessed as part of routine enforcement work

  Self-excluded patrons supported

  Non-club Class 4 to provide additional evidence of primary business sustainability.

 

14.  At the Policy, Finance and Strategy Committee meeting held on
14 September 2021, officer’s recommended that Council adopt Option 1 – sinking lid.  This recommendation was based on research findings that:

a.       Te Awa Kairangi ki Tai Lower Hutt has a disproportionate number of venues and gaming machines when compared to national averages;

b.       There are high levels of harm in Te Awa Kairangi Ki Tai Lower Hutt related to problem gambling particularly in communities where there are high levels of economic and social vulnerability; and

c.       Māori and people from Pacific nations are disproportionately affected by the impacts of harmful gambling.

15.  Officers recommend that the subcommittee recommends to Council the adoption of Option 1, sinking lid, with one minor change as follows:

“There will be no new gaming machines permitted in Council owned buildings except for the one current venue.”

Survey results

16.  A survey was run by Public Voice. To provide respondents with an opportunity to develop alternative options each aspect of each option was surveyed. This enabled a judgement to be made about the relative weight to give each aspect of the options.  A presentation of the results is attached as Appendix 3 to the report.

17.  In terms of option preference 57% preferred option 1, a sinking lid, 14% supported option 2, status quo and 29% preferred option 3, per capita cap on the number of machines and venues permitted in the city.

18.  The results for the other aspects of the policy are:

New gaming machine licences

Per cent

No new gaming machine licences granted

80

Retain current relocation policy

20

Relocation

 

Venue licences cannot be transferred to a new location

66

Retain current relocation policy

10

Retain policy but add requirement for a social impact assessment to be completed by venue owner

23

Mergers

 

No merger of venues, no new applications

54

Retain current merger policy

23

Remove merger policy, but allow merged venue to apply as a new venue

24

Council policy on use of gaming machine funds

 

Establish Council policy on gaming machine funds and do not apply for these funds

60

No policy on Council use of gaming machine funds

19

No policy on Council use of gaming machine funds – reduce then exclude over 3-year period of Class 4 Policy

21

Council policy on gaming machines in Council-owned buildings

 

Establish a policy that sees gaming machines removed from Council owned buildings once approved

64

Keep status quo of no policy or restrictions on C4 gaming machines in Council owned buildings

11

Establish a policy that sees no new gaming machines permitted in Council owned buildings but has no effect on current venues

24

 


 

Mana Whenua

19.  Submissions from Mana Whenua supported the wellbeing approach and the introduction of a sinking lid. The sentiment of these submissions indicated a strong concern for the wellbeing of Te Awa Kairangi ki Tai and noted that Māori were disproportionately affected by the impacts of harmful gambling. This echoes the findings in the SIA.

Other submissions

20.  64 submissions were received via email, and one submitter gave their feedback via a phone call.  Five submitters uploaded separate pieces of feedback on Council’s website. There were 12 hard copies of the flyer returned. There were 244 letters received in support of Naenae Bowling Club’s submission favouring Option 2.

21.  See Appendix 1 for a summary of these submissions.  The option preferences are:

Stated preferred option 

Option 1 - sinking lid

28

Option 2 - status quo

25 plus 244 signatories of petition

Option 3 - per capita cap

8

Not stated 

7


Sentiment and common themes

22.  Most of the feedback received was in favour of Option 2 (status quo).  Sixteen submitters sent in a signed template submission from Pub Charity.  244 feedback letters were received in support of Naenae Bowling Club’s submission favouring option 2. Others sent individual emails, with one submitter phoning in to discuss the process of submissions and the case for funding. Some submitters did not state their preference (7).

23.  Several of those submitters that supported Option 2 noted that their organisation was reliant on grant funding received via gambling proceeds. There was concern that removing this source of funding would penalise smaller community organisations who heavily rely on this source of funding to meet their basic costs.  

24.  Some noted that Class 4 gambling in a club venue was highly regulated, and therefore a significantly safer environment than online gambling, which is not under the same restrictions.  There was a concern from several submitters that removing the Class 4 machines from venues under Council jurisdiction would move gamblers to private venues located close by, or to online gambling.

25.  Gaming Associations preferred option 2 – status quo. Submissions were received from The Lion Foundation, Clubs NZ, The Gaming Machine Association of New Zealand, and The Four Winds Foundation. Naenae Bowling Club also favours option 2 – status quo and provided a petition in support of their kaupapa. 

Regional Bowls Club (Naenae Bowls Club)

26.  The Regional Bowls Club (RBC) was a joint project undertaken over three years by Council, the Hutt City Community Facilities Trust (CFT) and the Park Avenue and Naenae Bowling Clubs to achieve mutual aspirations – a world class bowling centre capable of hosting national and international tournaments for Te Awakairangi ki Tai Lower Hutt, a club for the amalgamated clubs – Park Avenue and Naenae and a gathering place for the community.

27.  At the time, the approach taken allowed gaming machines to be in the RBC.  Partners agreed that the RBC could not be financially successful without the funding coming from either rates or Class 4 gaming machine proceeds (GMP).  As the merging clubs already depended on GMP funding the decision made was to continue with this rather than increasing rates funding or taking funding from other Council activities or services.

28.  The current lease arrangements continue to allow gaming machines in the RBC. 

Social Impact Assessment

29.  During the consultation it was brought to officers’ attention that the graph on page 22 of the SIA was incorrect in suggesting that all clients assisted with interventions was around 500 people in 2017/18 and that there had been a 69% increase in people seeking help since then.

30.  The percentage change in the numbers of people receiving assistance has increased by 55% not 69%. Officers have corrected this calculation error in the SIA. 

Gaming Machine Association of New Zealand (GMANZ)

31.  Mr Peter Dengate-Thrush, Chair of GMANZ, provided a copy of a letter addressed to Ms Paula Snowden, Chief Executive of the Problem Gambling Foundation (PGF) outlining GMANZ’s concerns about the accuracy of the data that PGF are providing Councils about the amount of gaming machine proceeds being returned to the community.  A copy of the letter is attached as Appendix 2 to the report.

32.  GMANZ states that information PGF provided is inaccurate and misleading and refers PGF to 2018 and 2019 grant data collected by KPMG as part of a joint project between the Department of Internal Affairs, Sport New Zealand, and GMANZ. 

33.  Mr Dengate-Thrush takes issue with PGF’s decision not to include funds generated in clubs. PGF does not include this amount because these funds go as a rule go directly to benefit Club members.  However, as noted in
Mr Dengate-Thrush’s letter, the Petone Working Men’s Club did make external donations of $17,936 in the 2020-21 financial year to organisations such as Heartkids Wellington and Coastguard Wellington.

34.  GMANZ estimation of the amount of funding returned is as follows:

Year

PGF

GMANZ (through KPMG report)

Difference

2018

$4,609,207.43 or 17.8%

$5,245,516.00

$636,308.57

2019

$4,800,000 or 16.2%

$5,238,691.00

$438,691

 

Climate Change Impact and Considerations

35.  This matter is an administrative one with no impact on climate change considerations.

Consultation

36.  Wide ranging engagement and consultation has been undertaken including:

a.    Several hui with Mana Whenua during the development of the draft Gaming Venue and Board Venue Policy;

b.    An independent survey;

c.     Written submissions – all gaming trusts, venues and organisations listed on the Parks and Recreation Sports Club Diary 2020 were notified in writing about the consultation; and

d.    Flyer drop in key areas of the city where gaming venues are located encouraging residents to submit and providing a short form for them to do this easily and drop off at their local community hub/library.


 

Timeline

Engagement/Consultation

February 2021 to September 2021

·      Engagement with Mana Whenua

·      Initial phase of policy development including Social Impact Assessment, NZIER report ‘Harmless Fun?’

·      Approval by Policy, Finance and Strategy Committee to consult

27 September 2021

 

Direct correspondence with all stakeholders by letter/email advising them of the policy options being considered and asking for their feedback by 3 November 2021. This included all stakeholders in the gaming sector as well as everyone on the Recreation and Sports Diary list held by Parks and Recreation.

4 October 2021

First week of formal engagement/consultation began; survey set up during this week and Citizen's Panel notified

5 October 2021

Public notice in Hutt News (legislative requirement)

 

11 October 2021

A survey of the Citizen's Panel for Council (approximately 2000 people) starts.  This survey link could be forwarded by residents on the Citizen's Panel and by Council staff to those who were interested in completing it.  The survey focused on the options and did provide an opportunity for people to suggest different combinations of the elements of each of the options. Some respondents took this opportunity.

18 October 2021

Flyers to printer, libraries/hubs organised with drop boxes; decision made to extend consultation to 10 November as flyer drop in key areas delayed by printing; reminder sent to Citizen's Panel survey members

25 October 2021

Flyers direct mailed to all residents in Taita, Naenae, Moera, Petone, Stokes Valley and Wainuiomata – these are the places where most Class 4 gaming machines are located. This was done to boost feedback from these areas.

3 November 2021

Survey closed 5.00pm to enable full analysis to be completed for the subcommittee.

10 November 2021

Formal consultation closed 5.00pm – five weeks overall

Now

Focused interviews with key informants – these are going to be completed this week by Public Voice. This is aimed at recording the real experiences of these people in the sector

 

37. People have had the option of completing a survey, writing a submission hard copy, sending an e mail submission, and making a submission on a flyer and dropping it off at a local community hub. The team working on this engagement/consultation included Strategy and Planning, Communications and Engagement, Neighbourhoods and Communities.

Legal Considerations

38. The legal considerations are covered off under sections 5 and 6 above.

Financial Considerations

39. Introducing a wellbeing centred approach to monitoring gaming venues will require further resourcing. Any financial impact is unlikely to be quantifiable before the end of 2022 as considerable work is required before such an approach could be introduced. 

Appendices

No.

Title

Page

1

Appendix 1: Class 4 Gaming Venue and Board Venue Policy Review submissions analysis 10 November 2021

14

2

Appendix 2: GMANZ Chair, Peter Dengate-Thrush to CE, Problem Gambling Foundation

22

3

Appendix 3: Gaming Survey presentation

24

     

 

 

 

Author: Wendy Moore

Head of Strategy and Planning

 

 

 

 

Reviewed By: Bradley Cato

Chief Legal Officer

 

 

 

 

Approved By: Matt Boggs

Director, Strategy and Engagement

 


Attachment 1

Appendix 1: Class 4 Gaming Venue and Board Venue Policy Review submissions analysis 10 November 2021

 








 


Attachment 2

Appendix 2: GMANZ Chair, Peter Dengate-Thrush to CE, Problem Gambling Foundation

 



Attachment 3

Appendix 3: Gaming Survey presentation

 


























[1] See attached maps