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Community Groups To Benefit With Gaming Machine Funding Returning To Pre-Covid Levels

The Gaming Machine Association of New Zealand (GMANZ) is pleased to confirm a recovery in gaming machine revenue to a steady state during Q3 2022, giving more certainty to community grant recipients who rely on Class 4-provided funding to deliver their programmes and services.

Quarterly gaming machine profit (GMP) figures recently released by the Department of Internal Affairs shows that between July and September 2022, gaming machine profit across Aotearoa was $276.3m, a large increase from Q1 2022, at $193.2m. This increase, after taking inflation into account, indicates a return to roughly pre-COVID levels, following the major troughs as a result of lockdowns and hospitality-affecting gathering restrictions.

The increase also means a larger contribution from the Class 4 sector to the Gambling Levy, used to fund harm prevention and support services for problem gambling. The rate of problem gambling in Aotearoa has remained unchanged despite the number of electronic gaming machines (EGMs) in Aotearoa dropping from nearly 25,000 in 2004 to 14,000 in 2022.

“We’re very pleased with the positive picture painted by this data” said GMANZ Chair, Peter Dengate Thrush. “One hundred percent of gaming machine profits are returned to the community after prizes are paid and operating costs covered. This means that about $300m per year will continue to be available for emergency response services, disability support groups, the arts, sports clubs, and other initiatives spread around Aotearoa, ” he said.

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“This funding goes to about 11,000 groups and recipients across Aotearoa every year who rely on it. We’re pleased to be in a position to confirm more certainty of access to this funding, despite the heavy impact of COVID-19 on venues and the hospitality sector since March 2020.”

“Gaming machine profits also fund contributions to the Gambling Levy, a payment to Health New Zealand by all gambling operators and which funds harm prevention services and research into gambling addiction and its treatment. New Zealand has one of the lowest rates of problem gambling in the OECD, with 0.2 per cent of the population classified by Health NZ as problem gamblers.”

“Although the Levy has recently increased, thankfully, the Ministry of Health hasn’t seen any real increase in the rate of problem gambling in New Zealand since the 1990s,” said Mr Dengate Thrush.“Our contribution into the Levy assists with the shared goal we have with support service providers to bring problem gambling down to zero.”

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