GMANZ spokesperson Bruce Robertson

Quarterly statistics released by the Department of Internal Affairs show that gaming machine proceeds (GMP) increased by $7.9 million for the September – December 2018 quarter, compared with the same period in 2017.

The final quarter statistics reflect a continuation of recent trends, alongside a decrease in the number of gaming machines and venues, with there now being 2.4 per cent fewer gaming machines compared to the same period in the previous year.

This continues an ongoing decline in real terms of the funds available to the community. In nominal terms between 31 March 2004 and 31 December, 2017 class 4 revenue declined from $1,027 million to $870 million, a decrease of 15 percent.

Community groups across New Zealand rely on grants from the Gaming Machine Trusts and Societies who manage gaming machine proceeds and will benefit from the increase in available funds. Last year over $300 million in Class 4 funding was redistributed throughout New Zealand. Gaming machines continue to provide the greatest return to the community with gaming machines in pubs returning 44.6 percent and clubs 39 percent.

“More funds being generated for worthwhile community organisations and projects is a positive outcome” said GMANZ spokesperson Bruce Robertson. “The average amount each New Zealander is spending on them annually is decreasing, in real terms. The reduction in the number of machines and venues is of some concern, however, as players are driven from a regulated gaming environment into unregulated online gambling, with no safeguards or provision of community funding.”

Continued commitment to robust harm minimisation measures, including the introduction of new technologies, is undertaken to help those few players experiencing problems.