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Australian Pokies Precommittment Trial Dead


22 February 2013

Australian Pokies Precommittment Trial Dead

An Australian trial of precommittment technology for pokie machines is “dead” and has been an expensive “thought bubble”, the Australian federal opposition says.

A mandatory ‘pre commitment’ system for pub and club based gaming machines is a critical element of proposed legislation sponsored by Maori Party leader in waiting Te Ururoa Flavell. The Gambling (Gambling Harm Reduction) Amendment Bill, or “Flavell Bill’, requires the mandatory installation of pre commitment technology to all pub and club based gaming machines.

The cancelled Australian project to, develop, install and trial a voluntary system in the ACT would have been the first of its kind in the southern hemisphere but foundered on major technical and political issues.

Martin Cheer, CEO of Pub Charity explains,

“Despite reports to the contrary the Aussie trial of this system never even got a look at first base. We have warned the New Zealand government that this unproven and undeveloped technology would cost in excess of $500M to install and would devastate the $250m in donations and $300M in tax revenue raised every year by the pub based gaming sector in New Zealand. “

“The Commerce Select Committee can no longer seriously consider the requirement for pre commitment technology contained in the Flavell Bill as a viable option, contrary to how it has been proposed by the Bill’s supporters.”

“Effectively requiring national registration for all persons wishing to play a pub based gaming machine is simply too onerous for the 99.7 % of New Zealanders not struggling with their gambling behaviour.”

New Zealand has spent over $120M raised from a levy on gambling profits on problem gambling research, public awareness, and counselling services in the last 6 years. In addition over 25% of all gaming machines in pubs and clubs have been removed reducing donations and tax revenue by over $200M in inflation adjusted terms. Over the same period total gambling spend has increased, particularly on Lottery products.

Cheer says; “It’s time we recognised the very personal nature of the drivers of this behaviour just as they have done in Australia. We have a few expensive ‘thought bubbles’ of our own that need to be burst.”.

Pub Charity supports communities all over New Zealand, limited only by local council gambling policies and gambling legislation. National organisations through to grass root level local organisations are able to reach their objectives to benefit the people they serve through a simple, transparent, efficient, timely, non-political and independent funding process making Pub Charity a funder of choice for many organisations. Thanks to our venue operators, Pub Charity is able to make a huge difference to a wide range of local causes by returning millions of dollars back to communities where we operate.

Community groups interested in learning more about Pub Charity can visit or pick up an application for a donation form from their local Pub Charity venue. Complete the form and send it, together with the required documents, to Pub Charity, PO Box 27 009, Wellington so it reaches us by March 5th, 5pm to be included in our March 2013 round.

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• Retrieved 22/02/2013 from: ‘Pokies ACT precommitment trial sunk’
• Pub Charity operates 1,920 gaming machines in 162 pub venues across New Zealand.
• Pub Charity distributes donations monthly (except December). The detailed list of donations awarded this month is attached, subtotalled by Local Authority Regions.
• In the 2011/2012 financial year Pub Charity distributed over $29M in 3,675 donations to 3,108 organisations across the country.
• Pub Charity financial year ends 30 September.
• Annual deductions for the year end 30 September 2012 to Government included: Tax and Duty $27M; Problem Gambling Levy paid to the Health Department $1.2M; Department of Internal Affairs Compliance costs $1.7M
• Further information about Pub Charity is available on


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