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17 November 2017

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In this Gambits:

  • New approach to assessing venues
  • Disposing of Gambling Equipment

New approach to assessing venues

The Department has recently carried out a project to refresh the way it assesses class 4 non-club venues. We have shifted our focus towards encouraging venues to continually develop good practices, in addition to checking that venues are meeting their minimum legal requirements.

The new assessments are based on an outcome-focused evaluation of venue performance, rather than a ‘pass or fail’ approach. This enables us to undertake a more in-depth and comprehensive assessment of practice at the venue.

Part of the assessments will focus on harm minimisation and we intend to continually lift practice in this area by:

• Encouraging managers to build a culture of care in their venues.
• Encouraging venues to get better at identifying people showing signs of problem gambling
• Encouraging venues to get better at responding to people showing signs of problem gambling.

The Gamble Host Responsibility resources on the Choice Not Chance website are a great way to support venue staff to meet their harm minimisation responsibilities.

Twelve pilot venue assessments using this new approach were carried out in June (in South Auckland and Tauranga) and we sought feedback from the participants to further refine our approach. This was an extremely valuable exercise and we are grateful to those who were involved and took the time to provide us with feedback.

In most circumstances, venue assessments will be announced prior to the gambling inspector visiting the venue. This will enable the venue manager and staff to be available and arrange adequate cover for the duration of the visit. Society representatives will also be invited to attend the announced visits. The Department will continue to use other tools to check venue performance, such as unannounced visits, where appropriate.

The refreshed assessment process will be regularly reviewed by the Department and we welcome feedback from the sector to help us improve our approach.

This new approach will be rolled out in December, initially to non-club venues. We will keep you updated with timeframes before we commence with the new approach for clubs. By the end of November, the Department will publish all of the information you need to support you in working through the venue assessment process on our website and we will keep you updated through Gambits.

For further information please contact your society liaison inspector or sector.initiatives@dia.govt.nz

Disposing of Gambling Equipment

Recently the Department has been made aware of some issues when gambling equipment is being disposed of (destroyed, traded in, sold, given away or any other method of disposal). Holders (and former holders) of class 4 operator’s licences are reminded that they need to notify us within 20 working days, of the disposal of gaming machines.

On occasion we have had requests for machine software to be converted and the machine to be disposed of in one transaction. This is unnecessary because when machines are re-licensed the licence holder is required to include the game details for the machine at that time. Converting a machine and disposing of it in one day causes a failure between the IGP and EMS systems as EMS is unable to recognise the conversion and disposal in one transaction (similar to if a venue was surrendered and re-licensed on the same day). 

There have also been incidents where licence holders have notified the Department that machines are being destroyed when in fact they have been moved into storage.  When a request is received to re-license a machine that is notified previously as being destroyed, IGP is unable to re-license the machine and this requires a data fix to be undertaken by the Department’s external service provider, Intralot NZ. This causes delays in processing applications.

Please take extra care to ensure that all notifications and evidence of ownership documents for gaming machine amendments are correct before submitting to the Department for processing.

For further information please contact us by email on gambling.compliance@dia.govt.nz or by phone on 0800 25 78 87.