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Department of Internal Affairs, National
The number of gaming machines in New Zealand pubs and clubs continues to decline, according to the latest gambling licensing statistics released by the Department of Internal Affairs.
In the three months to September 30, 2006 licence holders declined 3 per cent on the June 06 quarter and by 10 per cent on the year ended September 30, 2006. There were 5 per cent fewer gaming machines over the same 12-month period.
1 Machine numbers peaked in the quarter before the Gambling Act was passed.
The Department's Director of Gambling Compliance, Mike Hill, says the figures show that the Gambling Act 2003 is achieving one of its main purposes, which is to control the growth of gambling.
"The shape of the gambling industry is changing, with a number of operators on the fringe leaving the sector," Mr Hill said. "Those left in the sector are becoming more efficient, and as a result returns per machine are starting to grow."
Mr Hill says the Electronic Monitoring System (EMS), being installed across New Zealand, will also assist venues' operating efficiency.
"Currently pubs and clubs keep records manually. Inaccurate record keeping and incorrect banking are the most common problems found during audits carried out by the Department's Gambling Inspectors," Mr Hill added.
All gaming machines in New Zealand must be connected to the EMS before March 18 2007.
Further information, including numbers of venues and machines by territorial authority and the changes in these numbers, is available from the Department's website: www.dia.govt.nz.
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