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Gaming Sector Dismayed At Misleading Statistics About Gaming Machine Profits

The Independent Chair of the Gaming Machine Association of New Zealand, Peter Dengate Thrush, today expressed his disappointment at the misleading articles appearing in New Zealand media this week as a result of the latest gaming figures released by the Department of Internal Affairs.

The figures claimed a 116% increase in gaming machine profit in the machines hosted in taverns and clubs across New Zealand in the last quarter. “This increase is hardly a surprise,” says Mr Dengate Thrush. “During lockdown the clubs and taverns that host gaming machines were closed – there were no gaming profits at all.” He said it was a statistically misleading comparison to contrast the figures during lockdown with those immediately afterwards.

“It would be like expressing astonishment that there has been a massive increase in air travel or restaurant spending in the most recent quarter compared with the period New Zealand was in lockdown.”

“It’s highly unfortunate that the release of these figures has been used to suggest that New Zealand has seen a massive increase in gaming activity in recent months. The latest figures simply reflect a return to New Zealanders getting out and about enjoying a form of entertainment that they were unable to engage in during lockdown.”

The reality is, while gaming machine spending post lockdown is slightly higher than for the same period last year, the spend for the year is down on last year by over (12%) or more than $115M.

Mr Dengate Thrush points out that this is a source of concern given that there are already signs that charities around the country have been struggling this year. “All profit from gaming machines goes directly to the community – so any decrease automatically translates to less funds available to support worthy organisations in the great work they do in communities all over New Zealand.”

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