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Gaming could be an election issue next year

4 October 2004
Media Release

Gaming could be an election issue next year

Money from gaming machines for community purposes is likely to plummet and many sporting and cultural organisations may cease to exist.

That’s the prediction from Hospitality Association Chief Executive Bruce Robertson speaking at the Association’s annual conference at SKYCITY today.

“Also, the new compliance regime will mean that many smaller operators will no longer want pokies in their hotels and taverns and community funding will no longer be available,” he warned.

The new requirements for venue operators has already seen a number of smaller sites, particularly those in rural areas, decide that it’s all too difficult and they are giving away machines.

It is unfortunate that the current regulatory regime ignores the commercial reality for venue operators who are at the core of the fund-raising effort, and as a result, the community golden goose is in danger of being strangled by bureaucracy and a lack of commercial reality.

The new venue expenses regime due to kick-in from 1st December is likely to exacerbate the situation with the larger operators likely to reduce operating hours, turnover, and funds available for the community.

New Zealand has a unique situation where all the proceeds from gaming machines go to either the community or the taxpayer and it’s a shame that’s being put at risk, concluded Mr Robertson.


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