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Monitoring of Gaming Machines Welcomed.

28 June 2005

Monitoring of Gaming Machines Welcomed.

The plan to monitor gaming machines electronically in pubs and clubs around New Zealand has gained support from Tangata Whenua, and community and voluntary sector groups - and it should not result in less funding for these organisations.

"Although this represents a cost to the pubs and clubs involved, it is vital to assess the true impact of gambling in New Zealand," says Andrea Goble, General Manager of the Funding Information Service

"Tangata Whenua, and community and voluntary organisations are heavily reliant on money from pub charities and gaming funds. That is a reality of the funding situation in New Zealand - and despite the fact that many in the Sector are responsible for dealing with the social issues caused by problem gambling.

"There needs to be a concerted effort to monitor exactly what impact gambling has on our communities so that the Sector can work to direct services where they are most needed," Ms Goble says.

"We believe the costs for the monitoring should come out of administration rather than lessen the money that goes to the Sector. This is, afterall, money that comes from the community in the first place."

The monitoring system, put forth by the Department of Internal Affairs, would cost $1.14 per machine for each day it operates.

"That cost is a fraction of the overall profits made by gaming machines each year. If a pub or club is operating a full complement of 18 machines, the total monitoring cost per annum is approximately $7,450," says Ms Goble.

"That is a very small cost for these organisations and would come out of administration funds. It's a worthwhile investment to make," she says.

ENDS


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