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Pub Pokie Payments Should Be Probed


Pub Pokie Payments Should Be Probed

PRESS RELEASE FROM NEW ZEALAND CHARTERED CLUBS (INCORPORATED)

Payments made to the operators of gaming machines in hotels, cafes, restaurants and bars should be investigated to see how much is being paid to the operators.

New Zealand Chartered Clubs has written to all MPs and to the Auditor General asking that a full investigation into these payments be commenced forthwith.

The Chief Executive of New Zealand Chartered Clubs, Roger Parton said that the payments understood to be up to $1,000 per week per machine, or $936,000 a year, are being made to operators under the guise of “Authorised Expenses”. Mr Parton said that this is money that should be going to the community, not to private operators.

“These payments are the sole reason why there has been such a dramatic growth in gaming machines outside casinos” he said. “Since 1995, public gaming machine sites have increased by 11% while private club sites operating gaming machines have decreased by 29%. There are now nearly two non-club gaming machine sites for every club site.”

“Gaming machines in hotels, restaurants, cafes and bars have increased by 141% while gaming machines in clubs have increased by just 42% in the past five years. There are now 2 ½ times as many gaming machines in hotels, restaurants, cafes and bars as there are in clubs.”

Mr Parton said that the reason for the increase in gaming machines in public sites is patently obvious. Hotel, restaurant, café and bar operators are now able to make substantial amounts of money out of the proceeds of gaming machines.

“They admit publicly that they cannot survive without gaming machines. If they can only claim for expenses they have met, how can this be?” he asked.

“There are new restaurants, cafes, and bars being opened all over the country for the purposes of installing gaming machines. If there is no personal profit to be made from gaming machines, why is there such a rush by these operators to install so many gaming machines?” said Mr Parton.

He said that there was mounting public disquiet at the proliferation of gaming machines where there are new outlets being opened and 18 machines being installed overnight.

“The evidence is clear and the facts speak for themselves,” said Mr Parton. “The expansion of gaming machines in hotels, restaurants, cafes and bars must be restrained and any measures that are put in place to achieve this must not be adversely affect genuine not for profit community clubs who have shown restraint and responsibility in this area.”

“It is now time for a full inquiry by the Auditor General into these payments which I am sure, will show that personal gain is taking place, at a great cost to the community and to society as a whole.”

ENDS

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