The Department of Internal Affairs

Te Tari Taiwhenua | Department of Internal Affairs

Building a safe, prosperous and respected nation


Mandatory “pop-up” on gaming machines will interrupt gambling for 15 second intervals

In a decision that the gambling sector has been awaiting with much interest, the Department of Internal Affairs has today released the details of how gaming machines in casinos, pubs and clubs must display mandatory, on-screen messages to gamblers about how long they have been gambling and how much they have won or lost.

Deputy Secretary Andrew Secker said that gaming machines will interrupt play for at least 15 seconds to display the messages. The messages will pop-up at intervals of up to 30 minutes.

Gamblers will be able to resume play after the 15 seconds, or they can wait longer if they wish. They will also be able to end that session of gambling. The messages will be displayed for 30 seconds if the gambler has not chosen either to continue or end that session of gambling.

Some gambling sector businesses had opposed the gambling harm prevention regulations that require pop-up messages. They complained to Parliament’s Regulations Review Select Committee, which dismissed their complaints on all grounds.

The Department then consulted with the gambling sector about the details of how to implement the regulations, including how long the interruption should be to ensure that the messages can be read.

Options ranged from the Department’s suggestion of a 30 second interruption, to giving gamblers the ability to turn off the message immediately.

Allowing the message to be turned off immediately was not an option the Department could accept because the regulations require the pop-ups to interrupt gambling as well as provide the required information.

Mr Secker said that the Department accepted that 30 seconds was possibly too long and would feel like a very long time if a gambler had already read the information and could only sit in front of a screen for the rest of that time.

The Department considered the submissions made to it and decided on a 15 second interruption.

Today, the Department published a Gazette notice amending the New Zealand standards for gaming machines. The standards set out the technical requirements for how gaming machines must operate. The amendments are the details for displaying pop-up messages.

New gaming machines must have pop-ups from October 1 this year, and all other machines must have them by 1 July 2009.

Copies of the Gazette notice and the amendments are available from the Department’s website at: Gambling Technical Equipment

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