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The Regulation pokie manufacturers want removed

The Regulation that Sky City & the pokie manufacturers want removed….

Parliament's Regulations Review Select Committee today heard a complaint from Sky City and the Australasian Gaming Machine Manufacturers Association against a new gambling regulation that will slow down excessive gambling on pokie machines in casinos and bars in NZ, leading to less gambling addiction problems, and also a reduction in income for those sectors of the gambling industry.

After receipt of information supplied under the Official Information Act, gambling reform group GamblingWatch has discovered that the industry wants Parliament to remove ‘Regulation 8’ of the Gambling (Harm Prevention & Minimisation) Regulations.

Regulation 8 (reprinted below) will force casinos, bars and pokie machine manufacturers to alter their machines to ensure that they can’t run continuously without regular interruptions on the pokie screens, that give punters the chance to reflect on how long they have been playing, how much they have spent and lost, and whether they want to actually take a break from the machine.

GamblingWatch co-ordinator Dave Macpherson said the Regulation was “likely to have a very important effect on the incidence of problem gambling.”

“Gambling statistics in New Zealand demonstrate that around 90% of people with gambling addiction problems have them caused by pokie machines.”

“The very fast repetition gambling (every couple of seconds) that can take place on pokie machines, coupled with the very long hours pokie premises are open for – especially the 24/7 Sky City operation – is a recipe for gambling addiction.”

“Anything that slows this exposure down, or gives punters the chance to reflect, or gives them instant information about the extent of their gambling, is likely to lessen the risks of gambling addiction.”

“Sky City and the pokie manufacturers hate the thought of this, and the slight lessening of profitability that these interruptions will inevitably cause.”

“Their complaint to Parliament is a thinly-veiled attempt to maintain their profitability, and has nothing to do with any sense of responsibility to the community or to the individuals caused problems by their machines.”

“It should be roundly rejected by Parliament’s Regulations Review Select Committee when it meets again to hear the complaint at 8.30am on Wednesday , 16th March .”

Regulation 8

Gaming machine must include feature that interrupts play

(1) The holder of a class 4 operator’s licence or casino operator’s licence must, at a venue at which it conducts gambling, ensure that the gaming machine includes a feature that –

(a) interrupts play at regular intervals (not exceeding 30 minutes of continuous play); and

(b) informs the player of –

(i) the duration of the player’s session of play; and

(ii) the amount, expressed in dollars and cents, that the player has spent during the player’s session of play; and

(iii) the player’s net wins or net losses during the player’s session of play; and

(c) asks the player whether or not he or she wishes to continue with his or her session of play.

(2) For the purposes of subclause (1) (c), if the player does not wish to continue with his or her session of play, the gaming machine must include a feature that automatically pays out any winnings and credits to the player.

Dave Macpherson
GamblingWatch (NZ Coalition for Gambling Reform, Inc)

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