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‘Pokies’ continue to decrease

Media Release 20 October 2006


‘Pokies’ continue to decrease

The number of gaming machines in New Zealand pubs and clubs continues to decline, according to the latest gambling licensing statistics released by the Department of Internal Affairs.

In the three months to September 30, 2006 licence holders declined 3 per cent on the June 06 quarter and by 10 per cent on the year ended September 30, 2006. There were 5 per cent fewer gaming machines over the same 12-month period.

Licensed gambling operations in pubs and clubs
Date Licence holders Venues Gaming machines
30 September 2006 481 1676 20,571
30 June 2006 496 1701 20,739
31 March 2006 513 1721 21,026
31 December 2005 526 1747 21,343
30 September 2005
535
1770
21,684

30 June 2005 553 1801 21,846
31 March 2005 568 1838 22,159
31 December 2004 584 1850 22,231
31 December 2003 672 2031 22,734
30 June 2003[1] 699 2122 25,221

[1] Machine numbers peaked in the quarter before the Gambling Act was passed.

The Department’s Director of Gambling Compliance, Mike Hill, says the figures show that the Gambling Act 2003 is achieving one of its main purposes, which is to control the growth of gambling.

“The shape of the gambling industry is changing, with a number of operators on the fringe leaving the sector,” Mr Hill said. “Those left in the sector are becoming more efficient, and as a result returns per machine are starting to grow.”

Mr Hill says the Electronic Monitoring System (EMS), being installed across New Zealand, will also assist venues’ operating efficiency.

“Currently pubs and clubs keep records manually. Inaccurate record keeping and incorrect banking are the most common problems found during audits carried out by the Department’s Gambling Inspectors,” Mr Hill added.

All gaming machines in New Zealand must be connected to the EMS before March 18 2007.

Further information, including numbers of venues and machines by territorial authority and the changes in these numbers, is available from the Department’s website: www.dia.govt.nz


ENDS

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