Package of reforms planned for Class 4 gamblingInternal Affairs
Internal Affairs Minister Chris Tremain today announced a balanced package of reforms in the Class 4 (non-casino) gaming sector.
“There is a clear need for reform in the Class 4 sector, which is why Te Ururoa Flavell and I have worked together on his Gambling (Gambling Harm Reduction) Bill. The Bill will be the first in a set of significant changes,” says Mr Tremain.
“It is my intention to introduce further legislation and regulations to address other issues that have been identified in the Class 4 sector. These reforms will focus on improving the transparency of grants to community groups, increasing the amount of funding that goes back to the community and reducing unnecessary compliance costs for Class 4 operators.
“I know the public has real concerns over conflicts of interest in the sector. To tackle this I will introduce legislation to capture and prosecute “rorts” more easily and restore the ability of DIA to cancel or suspend Class 4 licences as a penalty. Societies and venues who are compliant and show best practice will be granted longer licences as an incentive.
“The way that societies pay bars and pubs to host gaming machines is extremely complicated and needs to be simplified. This will reduce compliance costs, enabling more money to be returned to community groups.
“There will also be greater transparency about how grant decisions are made so the community is better informed about that process.
“I also propose to lift the minimum rate of return to the community over time. Based on the current turnover for every one per cent average increase we can return an additional seven million dollars to the community.
“As a way of reducing costs to societies information will only need to be published online rather than in a newspaper.
“The overall package of eight additional proposals is much wider in scope than those proposed by the Māori Party’s original Bill, and is the result of a collaborative effort with Mr Flavell. These reforms will deliver a simpler, more transparent system providing more money to the community.
“I would like to congratulate and thank Mr Flavell for his commitment to addressing gambling-related harm, while recognising the important role of class 4 societies in community funding.”