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10 May 2017

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In this edition of Gambits:

  • Minor issue with format of emailed licensing invoices
  • Working with Akarana Community Trust
  • Assessment of DIA's status as the gambling regulator
  • Consultation on Best Practice (Three Year) Licence closes 19 May

Minor issue with format of emailed licensing invoices

The Department recently introduced improvements to our licensing application and payments processes to make it easier to apply for a Class 4 licence.

Read more about the new application forms and payment processes

Part of the new process is that we now email invoices to licence applicants on receipt of a completed application. Overall feedback about the new system has been very positive.  We have, however, become aware that the sender and subject line were missing from the first batch of emailed invoices, resulting in some of the emails not being recognised by the recipient or being blocked by email filters.  

The email formatting issue has now been resolved and all the affected clubs and societies have been notified.  We apologise for any inconvenience this may have caused and appreciate your patience.

Working with Akarana Community Trust

The Department has been working with Akarana Community Trust to address matters identified in relation to the renewal of their Class 4 operator’s licence.  The key issues involved historical matters regarding potential conflict of interest, improper influence and grant decision making.

As a result of this investigation Akarana will serve an operator’s licence suspension over three consecutive days in May 2017.  Akarana’s operator’s licence will be renewed and Akarana can continue to support its authorised purposes, including the strong support it gives the local Indian Community.

Some venue licences held by Akarana will not be renewed until matters related to the suitability of related venue key persons are resolved.

A fundamental principle in relation to Class 4 gambling is that the process for determining which community activities will receive funding are as free as possible from conflicts of interest and improper influence.  Operators and key persons of venues in which gaming machines are hosted must have no influence over the distribution of proceeds by the society to which the venue operator is aligned.

Akarana has also agreed to make changes in relation to their day-to-day operation and governance arrangements.  These include changes to the structure of their board, including the introduction of an additional independent director and the appointment of Jeet Suchdev QSM as Board Chair.  Changes have also been made to the net proceeds committee membership.

In addition, Akarana has volunteered to undergo a full audit of its grant processes and procedures to assure the Department that the changes implemented by Akarana align with good practice expectations. These moves are part of the work by Internal Affairs with the Class 4 sector to improve performance and ensure community funding is transparent.

Gareth Bostock, Director Gambling Compliance Group says the way in which the Akarana concerns were addressed is an example of a successful outcome for all parties, particularly the good community causes that receive grant funding from gambling.

“Our goal is to maximise the benefits and minimise the harms from gambling,” he says.

“We are encouraged by the changing nature of the relationship between the regulator and the operators we regulate which means we are more frequently able to reach a desired outcome without resorting to court action.

“We are all striving to work towards best practice and by working together we stand a better chance of ensuring the integrity of the sector.”

Assessment of DIA’s status as the gambling regulator

The Department is inviting comments about the assessment of our status as the gambling regulator.

This is part of a wider government programme to improve the quality of regulation in New Zealand. At the link below you will find more information and a high level summary of our conclusions and ratings of four performance areas.

Assessment of DIA’s status as the gambling regulator

If you wish to provide comments please send them by email to Lizanne.geyer@dia.govt.nz by close of business on Monday 22 May 2017.

Consultation on Best Practice (Three Year) Licence closes 19 May

We would like to remind you that the consultation period on the Best Practice (Three Year) Licence closes on Friday 19 May.

View the Class 4 Gambling Best Practice (Three Year) Licence consultation document

If you wish to make a submission and haven’t done so already, please email your submissions to bestpracticelicence@dia.govt.nz or mail to:

Sharlene Hogan
Policy Advisor, Operational Policy
Department of Internal Affairs Te Tari Taiwhenua
PO Box 805
Wellington 6140

In addition, we also wish to test the performance expectation framework in a compliance audit situation with small to medium sized societies or clubs. If you are interested in participating, please signal your interest in your submission or email bestpracticelicence@dia.govt.nz