Appeal over renewal of alcohol licence for Tokoroa

Press Release – Feed Families Not Pokies

21 May 2018

Appeal over renewal of alcohol licence for Tokoroa’s Pockets 8 Ball Club

Tokoroa’s ‘Feed Families Not Pokies Inc’ chairperson Colin Bridle, is appealing a decision made by the South Waikato District Council’s District Licensing Committee over the renewal of an alcohol license for Pockets 8 Ball Club Pool Lounge, at 42 Mannering Street Tokoroa.

Mr Bridle said in his written objection to the Committee made earlier in the year that one of his primary concerns regarding the license application was that the 16 pokie machines in Pockets 8 Ball Club Pool Lounge were contributing to gambling harm in Tokoroa communities.

“The District Licensing Committee have advised that my objection did not meet the criteria as set out in the Act,” he said.

“The Committee does not believe that I am entitled to a hearing based on the reasons for my objection. This seems unusual given the Auckland City Council’s District Licensing Committee have received objections over the last couple of years for the renewal of alcohol licenses at pokie venues.”

Section 134 of the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act (2012) states that ‘the licensing committee may decide an application for renewal of a licence on the papers if there are no reports opposing renewal, or objections’.

Mr Bridle questions why other District Licensing Committees have accepted formal opposition to pokie venues, but the South Waikato District Council’s District Licensing Committee have chosen not to.

“The Committee advised that the only course of action open to me was to make an appeal to ARLA at my own expense,” he said.

The matter will now go before ARLA (Alcohol Regulatory Licensing Authority).

A “Give-A-Little” page has been set up by ‘Feed Families Not Pokies Inc’ to help the group cover any expenses incurred in its bid to stop Pockets 8 Ball Club merging with two other clubs and opening a new 30 pokie machine venue on Bridge Street Tokoroa.

The purpose of the group is to prevent and minimise harm from pokie (Class 4) gambling through advocacy, community action, legal action, fostering networks, education, support services and training.

Donations in support of the cause can be made here:

https://givealittle.co.nz/cause/feed-families-not-pokies-stop-the-mini-casino

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