An Australian trial of precommittment technology for pokie machines is “dead” and has been an expensive “thought bubble”, the Australian federal opposition says.
A mandatory ‘pre commitment’ system for pub and club based gaming machines is a critical element of proposed legislation sponsored by Maori Party leader in waiting Te Ururoa Flavell. The Gambling (Gambling Harm Reduction) Amendment Bill, or “Flavell Bill’, requires the mandatory installation of pre commitment technology to all pub and club based gaming machines.
The cancelled Australian project to, develop, install and trial a voluntary system in the ACT would have been the first of its kind in the southern hemisphere but foundered on major technical and political issues.
Martin Cheer, CEO of Pub Charity explains,
“Despite reports to the contrary the Aussie trial of this system never even got a look at first base. We have warned the New Zealand government that this unproven and undeveloped technology would cost in excess of $500M to install and would devastate the $250m in donations and $300M in tax revenue raised every year by the pub based gaming sector in New Zealand. “
“The Commerce Select Committee can no longer seriously consider the requirement for pre commitment technology contained in the Flavell Bill as a viable option, contrary to how it has been proposed by the Bill’s supporters.”
“Effectively requiring national registration for all persons wishing to play a pub based gaming machine is simply too onerous for the 99.7 % of New Zealanders not struggling with their gambling behaviour.”
New Zealand has spent over $120M raised from a levy on gambling profits on problem gambling research, public awareness, and counselling services in the last 6 years. In addition over 25% of all gaming machines in pubs and clubs have been removed reducing donations and tax revenue by over $200M in inflation adjusted terms. Over the same period total gambling spend has increased, particularly on Lottery products.
Cheer says; “It’s time we recognised the very personal nature of the drivers of this behaviour just as they have done in Australia. We have a few expensive ‘thought bubbles’ of our own that need to be burst.”.
Pub Charity supports communities all over New Zealand, limited only by local council gambling policies and gambling legislation. National organisations through to grass root level local organisations are able to reach their objectives to benefit the people they serve through a simple, transparent, efficient, timely, non-political and independent funding process making Pub Charity a funder of choice for many organisations. Thanks to our venue operators, Pub Charity is able to make a huge difference to a wide range of local causes by returning millions of dollars back to communities where we operate.
Auckland Gambling Plan All About Politics
Community groups and charitable organisations in the new Auckland ‘super city’ are about to be fed a super size pile of bull about the future of charitable gaming machines in their territory. A friendly consultant has provided a report that charitable gaming machines in their local can be replaced with commercial ones in a Casino and apparently no body (or group) is any worse off. I feel a Tui Ad coming on.
In pedaling a bunch of incorrect and misleading statistics Council policy staff are attempting to sway the five old Councils now community boards that gaming machine funding is not that important or effective. They just forgot to ask anyone that receives the funds for their views. Today gaming machines generate 10% of all charitable donations and are critical for causes from air rescue to opera.
I personally have no issues with Sky City negotiating for more gaming machines. Contrary to the claims made by some, sticking extra machines into a long standing market/environment like Sky City or Auckland central will have little impact on problem gambling statistics.
What I do object to is the willingness of politicians to throw a charitable model of funding distribution under a bus while extolling the virtues of private ownership and profits going to shareholders. Worse is the assumption that I, and by extension you, are stupid enough to believe it.
Today’s Society is made up of many ‘communities’ with differing interests and concerns. Beware of anyone who tells you that they speak and act for all. If this is important staying silent is not an option. When the time comes make sure your voice is heard. The use of our sector as a political football is unacceptable. Just like with the Flavell Bill that seeks the dismantling pub based gaming, the future of this funding model, and for that matter the simple act of a person accessing a gaming machine in a pub, will not be determined by us but by you, as players and recipients/beneficiaries of this unique opportunity.
The future of gaming machines in hotels, taverns and clubs throughout New Zealand is seriously threatened by the Gambling (Gambling Harm Reduction) Bill currently going through the public submission process.
Pub Charity Chief Executive, Martin Cheer talks about the likely impact of the Bill on:
While the Bill states its aims as reducing the incidence of problem gambling in New Zealand, its wording and the changes it proposes clearly indicate that its authors are anti-gambling and their aim is to get rid of pub based gaming machines in hotels and taverns altogether.
The Bill proposes to remove the operation of gaming machines and the distribution of funds from charitable trusts and place it in the hands of 259 Community Boards, administered by 67 Councils.
In their region, Councils will have the power to decide which hotels and taverns can host gaming machines, how many they can have, and the hours their gaming rooms can be open. Indications are that some Councils will choose to get rid of them altogether.
Likely outcomes of the Bill include:
A sharp reduction in gaming machines and therefore the amount of donations funding available
Donations money being diverted to Council projects
Increases in the cost of administering gaming and running the machines
Job losses in hotels and taverns across New Zealand
A significant increase in player scrutiny - players will need a special card to be able to play machines and their every move will be monitored.
Please feel welcome to get in touch with us if you have any enquires or questions. We value your feedback and look forward to the opportunity to help your organisation. Please note: we do not accept Donation Applications submitted via this form.