Horses racing

Pokies, racing bets- Gambling and TAB venues

We are reviewing policies designed to prevent and minimise harm from gambling.

The Class 4 Gambling Venue Policy 2014, outlines how problem gambling is addressed in our community.

The policy covers:

  • Whether class 4 (pokies) venues can be established
  • Where they can be located
  • The maximum number of pokies at a venue
  • If an established gambling venue is permitted to relocate

The New Zealand Racing Board Venue (TAB) Policy 2014 specifies whether or not new TAB venues may be established in the district and, if so, where they may be located.

Our policy team is working on a Gambling Social Impact Assessment (SIA), which includes information from the Department of Internal Affairs, the Problem Gambling Foundation of New Zealand, Statistics NZ and the Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment.

Taken from the SIA here’s a snapshot of gambling in the district and in general:

  • The total number of pokies have steadily decreased since 2013 from 257, to 225 as of June 2017. We currently have a total of 15 gambling venues.
  • Proceeds from gaming machines (total pokies revenue generated minus pay outs) have been steadily on the rise since 2014 (see image).
  • For March quarter 2017 the total amount lost to pokies in Whanganui spread across the district’s adult population equates to $74.76 per head.
  • We have one standalone TAB venue.
  • A total of $1,903,679.25 was successfully distributed as community grants generated from Gaming Machine Proceeds for the period Jan 2016- April 2017.
  • International and domestic visitors spent a total of $2,224,053 on cultural, recreation, and gambling services in 2016.
  • Gambling harm is often hidden, but when recognised can been identified as increased crime, violence and violent crime, effects on family and friends, and loss of productivity/ employment.
  • Gambling positively contributes to our local economy, and for the majority of people who do not have a gambling problem, is a form of entertainment.


Take a look at the information presented above and assist us in our review by completing a gambling questionnaire (4 questions – estimated 5 minutes).

If you would like further information, please get in touch with George Forster for the New Zealand Racing Board Venue (TAB) Policy or Alex Staric for the Class 4 Gambling Venue Policy 2014.

Pānuitia tēnei whārangi rānei whakamahia ngā pātai i Te Reo rānei.

Feedback closes 27 August 2017  

WDC Administrator

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