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Call For Feedback
18 April 2002
Electronic monitoring of gaming machines:
Initial call for feedback
A message for gaming machine societies and sector groups
As a result of last year’s Gaming Review, the Government is exploring the idea of introducing a central electronic monitoring system (EMS) to regulate and monitor all non-casino gaming machines. However, there has not yet been a final decision on whether to go ahead with EMS. The decision is subject to cost and implementation issues, including an assessment of the impact on the gaming machine sector. The Department of Internal Affairs has been analysing options for EMS, with a view to presenting an implementation plan and costings to Ministers.
For some years there has been a dialogue between the Department and the gaming sector about issues associated with electronic monitoring. We now want feedback from gaming machine operators on the key features that the EMS might have, and its potential impact on the gaming sector (both costs and benefits).
We need your responses by 30 April 2002. To make it easier, we have given you three ways to respond: please refer to the last page of this document.
We are aware that this is a very short timeframe. At present we are seeking high-level feedback to assist Ministers with their decision on whether to proceed with introducing EMS. This decision is needed soon, to give gaming machine operators the maximum time to prepare for EMS introduction if this is necessary.
If there is a decision to go ahead with EMS, we will be contacting you again to consult fully on the details of the system.
It is very important to note that:
Features of EMS
It is anticipated that, if introduced, EMS will have a very strong beneficial impact on societies. These benefits include:
Data integrity: EMS provides accurate meter reading information in a timely fashion, direct into existing society accounting packages. This eliminates delays due to data entry backlogs, and errors in manually recording and entering information. Consistent and automatic processes mean that all parties can have faith in the accuracy of the collected information.
Cost savings: EMS moves the task of data collection from sites and societies to a series of automated data collection processes. This eliminates the costs associated with meter readings and entering the information into society accounting software.
Detection of fraud and anomalies: It is envisaged that, if introduced, the system will include account verification of site banking and the sweeping of gaming machine profit from site to society accounts. This will automatically identify missed bankings and quickly alert societies and Internal Affairs to anomalies that may indicate theft or fraud. The possibility of incorrectly calculating or missing GST and duty payments to the IRD will be eliminated.
Remote disabling of machines: societies and Internal Affairs will be able to remotely disable machines if hardware or software problems or machine tampering are detected, or in case of breaches of legislation, licence conditions or site contracts.
Value added services: If EMS is introduced, we envisage that the monitor will be able to provide several value-added services to societies – for example, customised reports and ad hoc queries on society-specific data,
How EMS might work in New Zealand
We currently envisage a single monitoring agency, selected through an appropriate tendering process, under contract to the Department of Internal Affairs.
The EMS would gather information from each gaming machine daily.
Societies and sites would have access to information from their own machines, either by direct connection to society accounting packages, or through a secure website.
There would be a charge to societies for basic monitoring, provisionally estimated at $15 to $30 per machine per month.
Machine upgrades, retrofitting and replacement
Gaming machines would need to be upgraded, retrofitted or replaced to ensure that they can be connected to the EMS and are compatible with the standard QCOM communications protocol.
Both retrofits and upgrades would be co-ordinated with each society’s normal game replacement programme.
An upgrade includes game and associated QCOM-compatible hardware and software additions. The upgrade will effectively mean that the gaming machine is identical to the latest approved model. Upgrade costs are expected to be less than half the purchase price of a new machine.
Retrofit costs vary, but on average would range from about $500 to $1,000 in addition to the cost of a game change.
Listed below are gaming machine models capable of upgrade or retrofit. All other models would need to be replaced.
There would be a one-off set-up fee, provisionally estimated at $5,000 to $7,000 per site, for onsite wiring, site controller and modem.
Each site would need to provide a separate telephone line and pay installation, rental and call costs.
The following is a provisional timeframe for implementation of EMS, assuming there is a decision to proceed with introduction by 30 June 2002:
Detailed sector consultation: late 2002
Tender document (Request for Proposal) released: March 2003
Contract negotiated with monitoring agency: June 2003
EMS design begins: July 2003
EMS build and test begins: January 2004
EMS site rollout begins: July 2004
EMS fully implemented on all sites: December 2004
Feedback is invited
We are seeking your views on the tentative proposals outlined above. What are the potential costs and benefits of EMS from your perspective?
There are three ways you can respond:
1. Come to a meeting
You are invited to a meeting to discuss the possible implementation of EMS.
Monday 29 April 2002
Department of Internal Affairs
State Insurance Building
Corner Lambton Quay and Waring Taylor Street
Level 1, room 104
Please RSVP if you are going to attend:
or fax 04 495 7224
2. Write, fax or e-mail (by 30 April 2002)
Senior Advisor (Technical)
Gaming Licensing, Department of Internal Affairs
PO Box 805, Wellington
Fax 0064 4 494 0656
3. Phone (by 30 April 2002)
Bruce Manuge on 04 495 9343
Thank you for your help. We value your response.
Last updated: 18/11/2004