The Department of Internal Affairs

The Department of Internal Affairs

Te Tari Taiwhenua

Building a safe, prosperous and respected nation

 

Big step towards electronic monitoring of gaming machines


8/9/2005

In a key step in helping gambling operators get their venues ready for the Electronic Monitoring System (EMS) for all gaming machines in pubs and clubs, the Department of Internal Affairs has today released the technical details of how operators must connect their machines to EMS.

“Gambling operators need these technical details to get their venues ready for EMS,” the Department’s Deputy Secretary, Andrew Secker said. “If a venue is not ready on time, then the Gambling Act requires that all the machines at that venue must be turned off.”

The Department will set a series of deadlines as EMS is rolled out in 2006-2007, with the last venues being connected by 18 March 2007.

“Releasing these details today gives operators time to get their venues ready,” Mr Secker said.

The New Zealand requirements are based on the regulations used by the Queensland Office of Gaming Regulation. They include details of:

  • fibre optic cabling, including the types of cable and connectors that must be used
  • site cabling diagrams
  • testing
  • connecting to, and security of, the “site controller” (the site controller is the piece of equipment that will receive and store data from the gaming machines at that venue and connect to EMS)
  • power supply requirements for site controllers and communication devices.

    Gambling operators are responsible for ensuring that each of their venues is ready on time.

    The company implementing and operating EMS, Intralot NZ Limited, is responsible for installing the site controllers, connecting the site controllers to the central monitor and operating the monitor.

    The Department’s responsibilities are to ensure that Intralot complies with its obligations under the contract and to consult on and gazette all necessary standards and regulations.

    In May this year the Department sent a consultation document about the EMS technical requirements to gaming machine manufacturers, testing laboratories and all gambling operators with gaming machines in pubs and clubs.

    Having considered the submissions it received, the Department today published a Gazette notice amending the New Zealand standard for gaming machines in pubs and clubs. The amendments are the minimum technical requirements for EMS.

    The Department will soon post copies of the Gazette notice and the amendments on its website, www.dia.govt.nz and will send them to all gambling operators.


    Background

    At 30 June 2005, there were 553 operators, 1,801 venues and 21,846 licensed machines.

    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.

    Currently the record keeping system is manual. Inaccurate record keeping and incorrect banking are the most common problems found during audits carried out by the Department’s Gambling Inspectors.

    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.

    Possible future uses of EMS data include simplifying tax and levy payment processes for gambling operators.

    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.




    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