Next steps announced for gambling review

  • Peter Dunne
Internal Affairs

A number of decisions affecting the class 4 gambling sector have been made by the Government, Internal Affairs Minister Hon Peter Dunne said today. They include cancelling further increases to the minimum rate of return that gaming machine societies must make to local communities through grant funding.

“At Hospitality New Zealand’s Annual General Meeting last year, I announced that officials would be looking into a wider review of the class 4 ‘pokies’ sector. I am pleased to announce that the Government has decided to go ahead with the next stage of the review.

“The Department of Internal Affairs will be developing proposals to address the future sustainability of community funding from class 4 gambling. These proposals will be included in a public discussion document to be released later this year.

“The class 4 sector is a valuable source of community funding, and we will be looking at proposals to future-proof that funding. We will be talking to the sector about the challenges, and how to address them. That work will form the basis of the public discussion document exploring ways to maintain community funding from class 4 gambling,” Mr Dunne said.

In 2015, $262 million of proceeds from the sector was distributed to local community causes.  This was a decline of 33 per cent since 2004.

“Gambling on class 4 gaming machines provides vital funds for community causes. Over a number of years a combination of pressures has impacted on the sector’s ability to maintain revenue and maximise benefits to local community organisations.

“The consultation process will seek to identify a low-cost, regulatory framework that ensures sustainable fundraising which benefits New Zealand communities and minimises gambling related harm,” Mr Dunne said.

It is anticipated Mr Dunne will report back to the Cabinet at the end of May 2016 with the discussion document. The public will be able to submit on the proposals once the discussion document is released.

Mr Dunne also announced the cancellation of further increases to the minimum rate of return that gaming societies are required to make to local communities through grant funding.

The proportion of gaming machine expenditure that must be returned to communities is currently 40 per cent of GST-exclusive gross proceeds, and was scheduled to increase to 41 per cent in September this year, and 42 per cent in September 2018.

These increases have been cancelled, and the minimum amount that must be returned to communities will be fixed at 40 per cent.

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