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New rules for how pubs paid to have gaming machines will be linked to Gambling Act

The Department of Internal Affairs will make changes to a key part of gaming machine policy, how pubs are paid for having gaming machines, when the Gambling Act comes in to force on 1 July 2004.

The General Manager of the Department’s Gaming and Censorship Regulation Group, Keith Manch, said that the Department has been carrying out a major review of what is known as the “site payments policy”.

Mr Manch said that there was concern that the Department might change the policy in January under the current Gaming and Lotteries Act and then again in July when the new Gambling Act takes effect.

“Our objective is ensure compliance with the law,” Mr Manch said. “Changing the rules twice within a few months would be counterproductive. It would cause confusion, and add needless costs to all.”

The Department has received 190 submissions from community organisations and the gambling sector as part of the review of site payments.

“Those submissions have been very useful and will be taken into account in developing the new policy under the Gambling Act,” Mr Manch said.

The Department’s current policy will continue until July. That policy allows the organisations that own gaming machines, known as “societies”, to pay pubs up to $150 per machine per week to cover actual, reasonable and necessary expenses. That is, a society can pay a pub that has 18 machines up to $140,400 a year to cover the expenses it incurs from hosting the society’s machines.

Societies can apply for dispensation to pay more but must provide detailed evidence to prove that the actual, reasonable and necessary expenses are higher than $150.

The Department is writing to all organisations and individuals who made submissions, other community organisations and gambling sector organisations to advise them that the new site payments policy will be linked to the Gambling Act and that they will be consulted on how this is done.

Media contact:

Keith Manch
General Manager Phone 04 495 9449, Cellular 027 445 6420

Vincent Cholewa
Communications Advisor Phone 04 495 9350, Cellular 025 272 4270

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