The Department of Internal Affairs

Te Tari Taiwhenua | Department of Internal Affairs

Building a safe, prosperous and respected nation


No gaming machines in dairies


The recently passed Gambling Act introduces much tighter restrictions preventing children from playing gaming machines.

Key provisions of the Gambling Act, that go far beyond what is in the current law, include:

  • A statutory minimum age of 18 to play gaming machines
  • Fines on societies that own gaming machines, pubs or clubs where they operate, and on individuals involved in operating them, if people under 18 access machines
  • Regulations, to be drafted, declaring a venue or class of venue suitable or unsuitable for gaming machines
  • A requirement that, before a licence can be issued, the operator shows they have taken all steps to ensure that the possibility of people under 18 accessing gaming machines has been minimised
  • A requirement that, before a licence can be issued, the risk of problem gambling at the venue has been minimised.

The current legislation, the Gaming and Lotteries Act, includes no age limits at all on who can play gaming machines. Likewise, it places no restrictions on where gaming machines can be located.

In an attempt to prevent children accessing gaming machines, the Department of Internal Affairs has over time written a series of conditions that it applies to gaming machines licences issued under the Gaming and Lotteries Act.

These conditions are not written into the legislation and do not have the same strength in law as provisions written into an Act of Parliament.

In addition, the provisions of the Gambling Act are stricter than the Department’s licence conditions.

These provisions of the Gambling Act have not yet taken effect, and will do so when the Governor-General signs a commencement order setting out the dates. Various provisions of the Act will be phased in over several months.

Media contact:

Vincent Cholewa Phone 04 495 9350
Communications Advisor Cellular 025 272 4270