New Zealand gambling laws are about to change according to a fresh announcement by the government.
Although there are many opportunities to gamble in the country, these are land-based options. As it happens in all such countries, slots remain the most popular form of gambling in the absence of online casinos in New Zealand.
As reported by local gambling news, under the government’s proposed changes gambling trusts operating slot machines (“pokies”) would in essence be obliged to return up to 45% of their revenues to dedicated sports and community organizations. Currently this rate is 37%, though several groups in fact exceed it.
“I know it’s possible because many societies are already exceeding this amount. The top six societies average 40.5 per cent pay-out, with one of the top societies paying out 46 per cent,” said Internal Affairs Minister Chris Tremain.
Further elements of the planned reforms include empowering the Department of Internal Affairs to cancel the licenses of disruptive operators faster. At the same time, compliance would be encouraged by awarding longer licenses: instead of annual renewals, the period could be extended to three years.
Slot parlors would also be allowed to move sites without losing any of the gaming machines.
According to Mr. Tremain the reforms should make this segment of the industry more transparent, return more money to the community, while reduce the costs of compliance for the industry.
Government action was triggered by a gambling bill submitted by MP Te Ururoa Flavell, which aimed at reducing problem gambling. Although the ratio of Kiwi gambling addicts is among the lowest in the world, there is a strong political consensus behind addressing the issue on no uncertain terms.
Mr Flavell claimed he was satisfied with the government’s plan, though its proposed measures went beyond his own Gambling Harm Reduction Bill.
The bill could be voted on later this year.