Increase in gaming spend illusionary
The latest Quarterly Gaming Statistics released by the DIA create an illusion that real funding availability for the community is increasing, says Bruce Robertson, the Independent Chair of the Gaming Machine Association of NZ (GMANZ).
When adjusted for inflation and population growth, the real revenue from community-based gaming is actually in decline, while at the same time total spend on other gambling products continues to increase.
GMANZ holds real concerns for the long-term future of community funding with the DIA reporting the continued decline in venue and machine infrastructure. Reducing venue and machine numbers has proved to be ineffective as a tool in minimising gambling harm.
The move to offshore uncontrolled, unregulated and unsupervised gambling continues to gather pace while the controlled and supervised environments offered by community-based gaming venues still attract unwarranted and ignorant criticism.
GMANZ represents the bulk of community-based gaming which employs over 4,000 people and produces over $300 million in grants and applied funds annually as well paying $300M in tax and duty to the Government and $12M towards problem gambling intervention, research and public education, said Mr Robertson.