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EMS Formal Consultation (Gambling Act 2003)

Gambling Act Consultation (22/03/04)

Questions and Answers

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Questions and Answers


Notification Requirements

Applications

Banknote Acceptor Devices

Can I Use the Word "Casino"?

Notification Requirements

Q What does the phrase "the number of gaming machines lawfully operated" mean under section 89 of the Gambling Act?

A “The number of gaming machines lawfully operated” means the number of machines that were operated at the venue on 22 September 2003. This means machines that were:

- on the society's schedule
- compliant with licence conditions

Note, this number can be zero.

Q My venue is closed on Mondays, how does “lawfully operated” apply to me?

A “Lawfully operated” can include machines at a venue that is normally closed on Mondays and wasn't open for business on 22 September 2003.

Q My venue was closed on Monday 22 September 2003 due to a fire, how does “lawfully operated” apply to me?

A “Lawfully operated” can include machines at a venue that was closed on 22 September 2003 through unforeseen circumstances, such as a fire or burglary.

Q My venue was open on Monday 22 September 2003 but nobody came in to play the machines. How does “lawfully operated” apply to me?

A “Lawfully operated can include machines at a venue that was open on 22 September 2003 but which no-one came in to play the machines.

Q I had broken machines being repaired on 22 September 2003, how does “lawfully operated” apply to me?

A “Lawfully operated” can include machines at a venue where machines were broken, whether temporarily away for repair or on the premises.

Q My venue included new machines which had been approved by DIA and installed by the service agent, and were in legal and playable condition by midnight on 22 September 2003. How does “lawfully operated” apply to me?

A “Lawfully operated” includes machines which were newly arrived at the venue, which were approved, had been installed by the service agent, and were in legal and playable condition by midnight on 22 September (even if they hadn't been played).

Q My venue included new machines which were not approved and/or had not been installed by the service agent, and/or were not in legal and playable condition by midnight on 22 September 2003. How does “lawfully operated” apply to me?

A DIA will consider these issues on a case-by-case basis. Contact Gaming Licensing. Email: gaming.licensing@dia.govt.nz.

Applications

Q Which piece of legislation will my current application be processed under?

A Decisions on all applications are now based on the Gaming and Lotteries Act 1977 and any relevant parts of the Gambling Act now in force. Where there is inconsistency in the legislative provisions, the Gambling Act will prevail.

Q How quickly will my current application be processed?

A The processing of some applications will be delayed until societies have notified the Department of the numbers and machines on venues at 22 September 2003, and the information that societies provide is checked. Societies had until 20 October 2003 to provide this information to the Department.

Q What will happen if there is a question about what number of machines a venue is permitted to have?

A If there is any question or dispute about what number of machines a venue is permitted to have, amendments will not be processed until that issue is resolved.

Q Can I increase machines and / or add a new venue without territorial authority consent?

A No. Applications to increase machines over the numbers lawfully operated at the site on 22 September and / or to add a new (previously unlicensed) venue now require territorial consent and cannot be processed until the relevant territorial authority consent is received.

Q Can I increase the number of machines from the number I had on 22 September?

A No. For example, if a venue had three machines lawfully operating on 22 September, it is not “entitled” to increase to 18 machines without a territorial authority approval or a licence amendment, even if it had a site approval on 17 October 2001. Three machines becomes a condition of the venue licence and this number can only be increased with territorial authority consent and a new or amended licence from the Department.

Q How quickly can I obtain territorial authority consent?

A Territorial authorities must have a gambling venue policy in place within six months of 19 September 2003. Territorial authority consents are unlikely to start being granted for six months or more.

Q Why has my application been returned to me?

A Your application may have been returned for one of the following reasons:

- you require territorial authority consent, for example, when wanting to add a brand new venue which has not previously operated gaming machines.
- you want to add a venue that is currently on another society’s licence and we are awaiting notification of numbers at 22 September 2003 from the previous society.

Q How many machines can I have at a venue that had a site approval on 17 October 2001?

A Provided there hasn’t been a period of six months or more without a site approved since 17 October 2001, these venues are restricted to the number lawfully operated at 22 September 2003, with a maximum of 18 machines. Once the territorial authority has its policy in place, the society may apply for territorial authority consent and a DIA amendment to increase the 22 September 2003 limit up to 18 machines, if it isn’t 18 already.

Q How many machines can I have at a venue that did not have a site approval on 17 October 2001?

A These venues are restricted to the number lawfully operated at 22/9/03, up to a maximum of 9 machines. Venues are also subject to territorial authority consent that could allow the venue to operate 9 or a lesser number of machines, or require the removal of all machines from the venue.

Q How many machines can I have on a venue that has had a period of 6 months or more without a site approval since 17 October 2001?

A These venues are restricted to the number lawfully operated at 22/9/03, up to a maximum of 9 machines. These venues are also subject to territorial authority consent that could allow the venue to operate 9 or a lesser number of machines, or require the removal of all machines from the venue. Once the territorial authority has its policy in place, the society may apply for territorial authority consent and a DIA amendment to increase the 22/9/03 limit up to 9 machines, if it isn’t 9 already.

Q Can I move machines from one venue to another?

A Not without a licence amendment from DIA. Also, if you are increasing the number of machines lawfully operated at a venue you need territorial authority consent.

Q Can I apply to take over an existing site from another society?

A Yes, but the number of machines will be restricted to those that the other society was operating at 22 September 2003, unless you receive a territorial authority consent. For this reason, we will not be processing venue transfers until we have confirmed the number of machines lawfully operating at the venue on 22 September 2003.

Q What happens if another society takes over a venue that did not have a site approval on 17 October 2001?

A The venue is still restricted to a maximum of 9 machines and subject to territorial authority consent. The society which takes over the sites does so at its own risk.

General

Q What do I need to know about banknote acceptor devices?

A From 19 March 2004 class 4 and casino operator venue licence holders must not operate, or allow to be operated, any gaming machine that is able to accept bank notes with a denomination greater than $20. If your machines have banknote acceptors you should contact your gaming machine supplier or service agent now to discuss conversion options. DIA has recently set out a paper which outlines four conversion options and their risks and benefits.

Q Can I use the word “Casino”?

A Only the holder of a casino licence or a person granted temporary authority to operate a casino can use the word casino (or any other word or get-up in a way that conveys the impression that a place is a casino and accessible to the public). Venues have until 19 March 2005 to remove the illegal branding.

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Last updated: 13/05/2005