The Department of Internal Affairs

The Department of Internal Affairs

Te Tari Taiwhenua

Building a safe, prosperous and respected nation

 

Spending on Pokies Up


01/08/2007

The first set of figures from the government’s electronic monitoring of gambling machines in 1600 pubs and clubs around the country indicates that spending on pokies has increased by just under five per cent between 2005-06 and 2006-07.

The estimate follows details revealed by the new electronic monitoring (EMS) of 20,000 non-casino gambling machines. The EMS became fully operational on March 9, 2007 and this is the first time accurate, timely information on pokie expenditure has been available. Figures will now be made available quarterly.

EMS enables the Department of Internal Affairs to track and monitor gaming machine operations, ensuring the integrity of games and the accurate accounting of money.

The Department’s Director of Gambling Compliance, Mike Hill, said non-casino gaming machine expenditure for the quarter ended June 30 2007 was $237,705,359. If spending in the other three quarters of 2006-07 was comparable then the annual total was about $950 million, compared with $906 million in 2005-06.

“Some concerns have been expressed in the past that gambling expenditure is falling, affecting the amount gaming machine societies can distribute to the community,” Mr Hill said. “Clearly that is not the trend as shown by the data being collected by EMS.”
The June quarter gaming machine statistics, recorded small reductions indicating that numbers are stabilising with the introduction of EMS.

In the three months to June 30, 2007, licence holders declined on the March 07 quarter, from 444 to 439, venues from 1607 to 1598 and gaming machines from 20,302 to 20, 120.

Licensed gambling operations in pubs and clubs
Date
Licence holders
Venues
Gaming machines
30 June 2007
439
1598
20,120
31 March 2007
444
1607
20,302
31 December 2006
476
1666
20,518
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 20031
699
2122
25,221
1. Machine numbers peaked in the quarter before the Gambling Act was passed.

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

Media Contact:

Trevor Henry, senior communications adviser, Department of Internal Affairs
Ph 04 495 7211; cell 0275 843 679