Council has a responsibility under the Gambling Act 2003 and Racing Act 2003 to play a part in regulating gambling, and must have policies about Class 4 gambling (pokie machines) and stand alone TAB venues.  This includes the location of new venues and the numbers of gambling machines at non-casino venues within the Invercargill city.

It is well known that Gambling addictions can cause significant harm in our community.  If you or a loved one have a problem with gambling, please follow this Link to our list of help providers.

This page is divided into five parts:


Gambling Venues Policy (Pokie Machines)

The Council has a Gambling Venues Policy to:

  • To assist in limiting the harm of a problem in the community.
  • To encourage responsible gambling practices in Class 4 Venues.
  • To place a cap on the maximum number of pokie machines in the city.
  • To reduce the number of electronic gaming machines in the community over time.
  • To facilitate community involvement in decisions about the issuing of a Gambling Licence.

The policy documents detail objectives of the policy, zones where new pokie machine venues may be established and the process of doing so, the total number of machines in the city, number of venues, host responsibility to encourage responsible gambling and restricted entry, procedures.  Public consultation will be required as part of any application.

Please note this Policy has a cap on numbers and is not a sinking lid.

Follow the link to the Policy:

Apply For Gambling Consent from Council

Operating pokie machines outside of casinos is categorised under the Gambling Act 2003, as Class 4 gambling because of the high risk of harm.

If you want to operate gaming machines in Invercargill, you must apply for a Class 4 Venue Licence from Invercargill City Council. You cannot establish a new premise in the city unless the machines are relocating into the area permitted for in the Policy.

This applies to:

  • Relocation of a gambling venue.
  • Existing gambling venues that began operations any time after 17 October 2001.
  • Existing venues that want to increase the number of gaming machines at that venue.
  • Existing venues that want to start operating gaming machines which were not on the premise’s licence within the previous six months.

You may also require a Resource Consent, Building Consent, if selling alcohol, a licence to do so and food registration.

Complete this form. Include the $515.00 fee with your application. You will also need to pay for a hearing fee. Follow this link to the Fees and Charges for the current fee.

You will also need to complete a Social Impact Assessment. This is a detailed assessment of the impacts the new venue could have on the location and socioeconomic factors of the area.  For more information and guidelines please follow the links to:


Return your completed application to:

Environmental Health Team

Phone: (03) 211 1777


Postal Address: Private Bag 90104, Invercargill 9840

Street Address: 101 Esk Street, Invercargill


Dept Of Internal Affairs

Once you have received a gambling consent from the Council you must also apply for any gaming licences required by the Department of Internal Affairs.

Follow this link for more information and the application form.


Best Practice Guidelines

Please see below for links in relation to Best Practice Guidelines for gambling related risk reductions.$file/Gambling-HPM-Guidelines_August-2015.pdf


Racing Board (TAB) Venue Policy

Section 65D of the Racing Act 2003 requires Council to adopt a Board Venues Policy in relation to stand alone Board venues.  Board venues are known as TAB.

As required by the Act the New Zealand Racing Board must seek consent of Council if it intends to establish a stand-alone Board Venue for sport/ race betting.

It covers stand-alone TAB Board Venues only and Council consent is not required under the legislation to establish a TAB facility in a bar, hotel or club.

The purpose of the Policy is to:

  • To assist in limiting the harm of problem gambling in the community.
  • To encourage responsible gambling practices and attitudes in stand-alone Board venues.
  • To facilitate community involvement in decisions about gambling by ensuring that all communities in the Invercargill city are given the opportunity to consult with Council in a manner that is culturally appropriate.

Follow this link to the Policy:

TAB stand alone venues must be established in accordance with the Policy and are required to complete the application form for a Gambling Consent above and also complete the Social Impact Assessment.


Useful Links

Please see below for links in relation to supports services for problem gambling and other useful resources.

Support Services For Problem Gambling (Nga Kete)

The Gambling Act 2003

The Racing Act 2003

Ministry Of Health