Today, the Department of Internal Affairs of New Zealand (Te Tari Taiwhenua) released a number of documents providing the latest gambling statistics for the quarter which ended in June 2018. According to the detailed information about the Gaming Machine Proceeds (GMP) generated by the country’s venues, more funds produced by so-called poker machines were available for the community from April to June 2018.
According to the quarterly stats released by the Department of Internal Affairs, the GMP rose in comparison to the result generated over the same quarter a year before, reaching a total of NZ$6,846,240. It also became clear that the 3.1% increase in the gaming machine proceeds from pokies, or Class 4 gambling machines, brought more funds to local communities in the latest financial quarter.
An average of more than 90% of net proceeds has been reported to have been brought back to the local community, with the remaining part of the generated funds being redirected to national and regional areas. According to experts, such grants will make a positive difference to a large number of local organisations, most of which would face some difficulties to continue operating without such funding.
As mentioned above, a number of reports were released by the DIA today. The first one of them, which showed the suburb level of EGM and GMP for the April-June 2018 quarter, lists all facilities in the so-called clusters by area within a larger region. The second report, which includes a list of venues per cluster as of the latest fiscal quarter, includes major information about such venue clusters. Report No.3 provides information about the gaming machine proceeds by number of gambling (poker) machines at venue for the three months from April to June. The report does not provide any stats for the venues featuring only one pokie or more than 18 machines because there are currently only two facilities fitting into each of these categories. The fourth report issued by the DIA involves information about the GMP by class of venue for the latest quarter.
Further Restrictions Would Cut Community Benefits, Too
The contributions made by gaming machine proceeds to local communities include a massive contribution to amateur sport, as well as to various other good community projects and services. Local hospices and hospitals, as well as professional air ambulance and air rescue services also received a chunk of the proceeds.
Reportedly, no other form of gambling makes such large contributions to good causes and community services in New Zealand. The grants are administered by trusts which operate in line with regulated standards and restrictions under the country’s Gambling Act.
The Gaming Machine Association of New Zealand (GMANZ) has shared its satisfaction with the larger returns to local communities. Still, the Association explained that it remains concerned about the persistent decline registered in the number of venues and poker machines in the statistics. According to the GMANZ, the ongoing reduction in the local infrastructure could result in a significant decline in the funding available to communities in the years to come.
Bruce Robertson, a spokesman of the Association, explained that gaming venues such as clubs and pubs currently provide the strongest form of control over gambling activities, offering their customers a well-regulated environment. Mr. Roberson further shared that the tighter the regulatory regime is, by imposing restrictions to local venues and poker machines, the more likely it is for players to turn to unregulated online gambling options, which would be beneficial neither for them nor for the community.