New Zealand announces new rules for pokie venues

The travel bubble will be Asia-Pacific’s first since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The travel bubble will be Asia-Pacific’s first since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.

New rules aim to reduce gambling harm.

New Zealand.- The government of New Zealand has announced changes to gambling regulations in a bid to reduce gambling-harm in venues with slot machines. Jan Tinetti, internal affairs minister, said the changes would make the host responsibility requirements on pokie venues clearer, stronger, and more enforceable.

The changes include

  • Mandatory annual training for all staff dealing with gamblers
  • New requirements on the steps venues must follow to identify harmful gambling, such as regular sweeps and recording signs of gambling harm.
  • Two new rules for venue design to ensure staff can better monitor ATMs while pokie machines will be less visible to customers
  • A range of new infringement offences to penalise those who fail to comply with regulations.

Tinetti said: “Pokies are known to be the most harmful form of land-based gambling in Aotearoa, so I’m really pleased we are making progress with strengthening the harm minimisation rules. These changes will help make sure that pokies venues are identifying and acting upon harmful gambling consistently and more often.

“They have been designed to be realistic to implement for the Class 4 gambling sector. I have also asked that the Department of Internal Affairs work with sector representatives, where appropriate, on some of the implementation details of the changes.”

The new regulations are expected to be in place in the first half of 2023.

In June, the New Zealand government announced a NZ$76m (US$47.9m) investment for a new strategy aimed at preventing and minimising gambling harm-related issues.

See also: NZ study reveals few people with gambling problems seek help

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GAMBLING REGULATION