Amendment allows 16% profit claim for pokie operators

By Dean Nathan

Under the commission structure, pokie operators will soon be able to claim up to 16% of proceeds from their machines.

Tim Howard from Whangarei Gambling Action Group believes, “What we've got now is a move back to giving stronger control back to the hands of the industry and in effect the long term effect will be promoting more gambling in vulnerable communities.”

The amendment overturns a clause of the 2003 Gambling Act that prohibited commission payments for pokie operators because they would give publicans an incentive to promote gambling.

The Māori Party has had a hand in the amendments that will come into law in September with 80% of proceeds from pokie machines to be distributed back to the regions where the money was spent.

Only in due course will we see what effects these amendments have on problem gambling.