The Department of Internal Affairs

The Department of Internal Affairs

Te Tari Taiwhenua

Building a safe, prosperous and respected nation

 

'Pokies' continue to decrease


20/10/2006

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 20031
    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

Media Contact:
Trevor Henry, communications adviser, ph 04 495 7211, cell 0275 843 679