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About the Gaming Machine Association of New Zealand

The Gaming Machine Association of New Zealand (GMANZ) is an Incorporated Society representing the gaming machine sector in New Zealand. GMANZ have developed this resource to highlight facts about the industry, statistics and stories about the community benefits of funding given by gaming machine societies.

GMANZ key messages

Fun and safe entertainment

Our gaming machines provide fun and safe entertainment, with around 91 cents in every dollar played returned to players as prizes.

According to the Ministry of Health, over 80% of Kiwis regularly participate in gambling for entertainment. This includes Lotto, gaming machines, racing, sports betting and casinos.

About a third of those people enjoy playing non-casino gaming machines.

Gambling is mainstream, widespread and socially accepted.

Vital community funding

Gaming trusts provide vital funding for community activities for which there is no easy substitute.

Gaming trusts return around $300 million to local community organisations every year.

Grants make a positive difference to many community organisations, which would struggle to survive without this funding.

Around 90% of funds are returned to the communities in which they are raised.

Gaming trusts are well governed, socially responsible, and committed to harm minimisation.

Reducing machine numbers reduces community funding not problem gambling

Reducing gaming machine numbers has not reduced problem gambling but has reduced community funding.

Problem gambling in New Zealand has been consistently low for the last decade, currently affecting only 0.3% of the adult population.

Between 2003 and 2018, almost 10,000 gaming machines have been removed. This means the funds returned to community organisations have reduced over time.

Gaming trusts operate in accordance with regulated standards of behaviour, as prescribed under the Gambling Act and its regulations.

A substantial problem gambling levy is in place. The Government received $100 million from the gambling sector in the past 5 years to help those at risk.

The risk of unregulated online environments

Reducing the number of gaming machines pushes people to online gambling, which is unregulated and players are not protected. It is better to have people gambling in safe, controlled and regulated environments.

With online gambling there are no enforceable age restrictions, and no harm minimisation.

Digital technology is accessible 24/7 and online gambling sites actively market to people through their devices with offers and incentives to continue gambling.

The community does not benefit at all, as no funds are returned to them through grants.

Research shows that problem gambling is 10 times higher for those who play online.

About Class 4 Gambling

Class 4 Gaming Machines, or pokies, are administered by The Department of Internal Affairs (DIA) a New Zealand Government Department. DIA is responsible for ensuring that gaming machines are operated within the laws. 

Class 4 Gambling is defined by DIA as:

  • Any activity that involves the use of a gaming machine outside a casino
  • May be run only by a corporate society and only to raise money for authorised purposes.

Authorised purposes include charities, community organisations, arts, cultural, clubs, sports, and health.