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Gambling Act 2003


Gambling in Pubs and Clubs (Class 4)

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Gambling in Pubs and Clubs (Class 4)

Gaming machines in pubs and clubs (i.e. outside a casino) represent 'Class 4' gambling, which the Gambling Act 2003 classifies as high-risk, high-turnover gambling. Class 4 gambling may only be conducted by a corporate society and only to raise money for an authorised (e.g. community and non-commercial) purpose. You can find out here about: *This document is in Adobe Acrobat (.pdf) format. You need to have the Adobe Acrobat Reader installed on your computer. You can download a free version from the Adobe site.

Licensing Criteria

The Gambling Act aims to control the growth of gambling. There are strict licensing criteria for organisations wanting to run gaming machines and for the venues at which those machines are operated.
The licensing criteria aim to:
  • Prevent and minimise harm caused by gambling, including problem gambling
  • Facilitate responsible gambling
  • Ensure the integrity and fairness of games
  • Ensure that money from gaming machines benefits the community
  • Ensure that gaming machines operate at suitable venues
  • Limit the opportunity for crime and dishonesty associated with gaming machines
  • Ensure that gaming machines are run by responsible, accountable societies
For more information about Class 4 licensing see the following Gambling Act 2003 Fact Sheets:*

Authorised Purposes

Corporate societies that are licensed to operate gaming machines (class 4 corporate societies) must apply the net proceeds of the gaming operation to authorised purposes.

Authorised purposes are:
  • Charitable purposes
  • Non-commercial purposes that have community benefits
  • Promoting, controlling and conducting race meetings.

A society must state what its regulations are, and the statement will be included on its licence.

Click here for more detailed information on Authorised Purposes:
Authorised Purpose Guidelines for Societies and Clubs


Regulations have been made under the
Gambling Act 2003 to help achieve the objectives of the Act. Regulations apply to individuals and organisations that are authorised to operate gambling. Please click here for a list of our Current Regulations.

For more detailed information please click here: Venue Expenses

Venue expenses are the payments that class 4 corporate societies make to reimburse class 4 venues (pubs) for hosting their gaming machines.

After extensive consultation a venue expenses framework was developed under the Gambling Act 2003. The venue expenses framework allows venues to be paid money by societies to reflect their true costs.

The Department has developed guidelines for corporate societies and venue operators on the rules for paying venue expenses related to class 4 gambling (gaming machines outside casinos). Click here to view the
Venue Payments Reference Paper - Guidelines on Venue Costs under the Gambling Act 2003 .pdf (300k)*

This paper includes examples of two types of forms that can be used when claiming venue expenses. Use the links below to print and use either of these examples. *This document is in Adobe Acrobat (.pdf) format. You need to have the Adobe Acrobat Reader installed on your computer. You can download a free version from the Adobe site.

Gazette Notice for Venue Expenses

A Gazette notice appearing in the 2 September 2004 issue of the New Zealand Gazette made under section 116 of the Gambling Act 2003 limits and excludes class 4 venue costs.

Most of the limits and exclusions come into effect on 2 December 2004. The remaining limit will come into effect on 2 December 2005. Click here for a copy of the Gazette notice: A letter and a venue expenses form was sent to all corporate societies with venue agreements on 2 September 2004. The letter explains the intent of the Gazette notice and the requirements on societies that result from the notice:
Development of Venue Expenses Gazette Notice

A consultation document on venue expenses was sent to all societies and made available on the Department's website on 22 March 2004. To read the 22 March 2004 consultation document please click here: Site Payments Consultation 232k*

As a result of the consultation, an independent accounting firm was commissioned to assess the factors that influence venue expenses and to benchmark actual, reasonable and necessary costs that venues incur for hosting gaming machines. A copy of the accounting firm's report is here: Disclaimer: This report was commissioned from independent consultants to assist the Department of Internal Affairs in developing policy on the costs associated with operating gaming machines at class 4 venues. It represents the views of the consultants and is not a statement of Departmental policy. Please send enquiries on the report to Kate Reid, Manager, Gaming Operational Policy, Gaming and Censorship Regulation (

Territorial Authorities

The Gambling Act allows for the growth of gambling to be controlled through territorial authorities. Territorial authorities have introduced policies that can limit gaming machine numbers and they must agree to where gaming machines are placed in their districts. In this way the community can have input into gaming machine numbers and locations.
A corporate society must apply for territorial consent before it:
  • Establishes new gaming machine venues
  • Increases the number of machines that may be operated at existing venues
For more information about territorial authorities and Class 4 gaming machines please refer to:

Class 4 Game Rules

The Gambling Act (Class 4) Game Rules 2004 govern the playing and participation in class 4 gambling that utilises gaming machines outside of casinos and the systems, processes, information and documentation associated with particular games.

Approved Gaming Machines

The Class 4 Game Rules apply to all gaming machines that are authorised pursuant to the Gambling Act 2003. A list of all approved gaming machines to which the Class 4 Game Rules apply has been made as a reference. Link here to list of
Approved Gaming Machines.

Class 4 Game Rules 2004 - Standard Forms

The Secretary for Internal Affairs has issued standard forms relating to class 4 game rules and their use is mandatory. This means that corporate societies, venues or service providers cannot create and use their own versions, except where electronic copies can be generated in the same format as the standard forms and contain exactly the same information.

Due to the progressive implementation of EMS there are two types of standard forms. These are:

Important note about the effects of Class 4 Game Rules 26 and 27 - "Standard Forms" (please read).

Licence Conditions After 1 July 2004

After 1 July 2004, operator's licences and venue licences issued or renewed will be subject to any licence conditions issued under the Gambling Act 2003. These conditions will accompany and form part of the licence. Any corporate society must comply with the requirements set out in the licence conditions. Non compliance will put the society's licence at risk.

Licence Conditions Prior to 1 July 2004

The following licence conditions continue to apply to corporate societies whose licences were issued prior to the introduction of the licensingprovisions of the Gambling Act 2003 on 1 July 2004. These will continue until the licence is renewed or amended in so far as they are not inconsistent with any provision of the Act.

Set A - Single Site Club:
Set B - Public Premises Single and Multi Site:
From 1 September 2004 the Gaming Machine Operations Manual (Blue Book) is replaced by the Class 4 Game Rules 2004. The Blue Book will still be useful for corporate societies with licence conditions issued prior to 1 July 2004 and remains a useful source of information.
Class 4 Gambling Forms:
  • Class 4 Gaming Machine Account Summary (updated September 2005) 143k - The Gaming Machine Account Summary replaces the Class 4 Operator's and Venue (Renew) Licence form. This form is only to be used if you have already renewed your licence under the Gambling Act 2003. If you have not renewed your licence under the Gambling Act 2003 please use the Class 4 Operator's and Venue (Renew) Licence above. For further guidance on renewing using the Gaming Machine Account Summary please refer to the Letter sent to Class 4 Operators 09/02/05 32k*
  • Class 4 Venue (New) 160k* - Application for a new Venue Licence for Class 4 gambling (updated 22/11/2005).
  • Class 4 Venue (Amend) 167k* - Application to amend a Venue Licence for Class 4 gambling (updated 22/11/2005). Note: Base Approval Number (BAN) is required for QCOM ready machines only.
*These documents are in Adobe Acrobat (.pdf) format. You need to have the Adobe Acrobat Reader installed on your computer. You can download a free version from the Adobe site. If you require a hard copy of any of these forms please contact the Gaming Compliance Unit.

Audited Financial Statements

Gambling Act 2003 requires class 4 societies to provide audited financial statements to the Department of Internal Affairs within three months of the end of a society's financial year. The templates below will help clubs and corporate societies (class 4 operators) to prepare their financial statements and their forecast financial statements which are necessary to complete the Application to Renew Class 4 Operator's License and Venue Licence(s). Please note that these templates do not remove the need for judgement and consultation with your advisers when preparing your financial statements.

The following templates are for corporate societies:

The following templates are for clubs:
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Last updated: 28/06/2006