No new gambling venues or gambling machines will be allowed in the western Bay of Plenty under a new policy.

The Western Bay of Plenty District Council this week unanimously approved changes to the Class 4 Gambling Venues Policy and TAB Venues Policy to reduce social harm caused by gambling.

Following public consultation, the most notable changes include a "sinking lid" approach that means no new gambling venues would be able to set up in the district, and no increases in the number of gaming machines in current venues would be allowed.

Relocating a gaming machine venue is also prohibited and clubs that merge are no longer able to hold the machines.


Standalone TAB venues will also not be allowed to operate in the district.

Council received 157 submissions of which the adopted options gained between 82 per cent and 66 per cent support, depending on the issue.

Over time, the number of venues and machines may slowly decline as venues shut down or operators give up machines.

"The community has spoken and we think on balance that this reflects what the community wants," mayor Garry Webber said.

"By controlling the growth of gambling and minimising the harm caused, we are still enabling people to participate in responsible gambling if they wish to do so."

The policy review meets the council's role under the Gambling Act 2003 and Racing Act 2003.

The previous policies were adopted in 2013.

Western Bay of Plenty gambling
• In the 12 months to September 2018, $6,432,673 was spent on Class 4 gambling in the district.
• There are 154 machines and 11 venues in the Western Bay of Plenty District and no standalone TAB venues.