The Department of Internal Affairs

The Department of Internal Affairs

Te Tari Taiwhenua

Building a safe, prosperous and respected nation

 

Next step toward electronic monitoring system for gaming machines, consultation on fees


27/07/2005

The Department of Internal Affairs is asking for public comment on the proposed fees to pay for the electronic monitoring system (EMS) for all gaming machines in pubs and clubs.

Deputy Secretary Andrew Secker said that the proposed fees would be set by regulation and would cover the costs of implementing and operating EMS over its initial six-year period. The gambling operators who own the gaming machines would pay the fees.

The consultation document being distributed by the Department identifies a preferred funding option of a fee of $1.14 per gaming machine for each day it is operated. (At present there are just under 22,000 machines.) Gambling operators would pay the fees each month. The proposed fees are very close to the levels indicated to the sector three years ago during the passage of the Gambling Act.

The consultation document will also seek views on the possible future use of EMS data to simplify tax and levy payment processes for gambling operators.

In 2003/04 gaming machines in pubs and clubs had a turnover in excess of $8.6 billion and produced a gross profit of $1.035 billion. EMS will enable the Department to track and monitor the operations of gaming machines, ensure the integrity of games, and limit opportunities for crime and dishonesty in connection to gaming machines. The analysis of machine-by-machine data will also make a contribution to our understanding of problem gambling.

EMS will:

  • monitor how much money is gambled on each machine
  • monitor how much each machine pays out in prizes to gamblers
  • monitor how much money should be banked
  • ensure that all software being used on the machines is identical to the approved versions
  • assist in detecting software failures
  • assist in detecting tampering with a machine or software.

    Each gambling operator will have access to the information collected by EMS about its own machines and the Department will publish statistical data on a website.

    Copies of the consultation document were yesterday sent to all gambling operators with machines in pubs and clubs. They are also available on the Department’s website at: News, press releases & consultation.

    Submissions should be made to the Department by 30 September 2005. This will enable the final Cabinet decisions to be made and the fees implemented by the end of March 2006 – in time for connection of the first gaming machines to the system.

    By early 2006 some operators will connect their gaming machines as part of a pilot rollout. The full rollout will commence later that year. The Gambling Act requires that all gaming machines in pubs and clubs must be connected to an EMS by 19 March 2007.


    Media contact

    Andrew Secker
    Deputy Secretary Phone 04 495 9329, Cellular 027 281 5211

    Vince Cholewa
    Communications Advisor Phone 04 495 9350, Cellular 027 272 4270