New Zealand

 

Officials recorded a steep rise in incidents of children left unattended around the SkyCity casino in Auckland in 2012. Newly released figures showed a rise in such cases to 64 in 2012 from 19 in 2009. Last year's cases involved 96 children, including one incident in which five children aged between five months and 8 years old were left in a van in the casino carpark for 45 minutes while the children's mother and her partner gambled inside. The partner was convicted and discharged in the case.

 

TAB, New Zealand's monopoly betting service, will cut 50 jobs in Auckland when it closes a phone betting center as it consolidates operations with centers in Wellington and Christchurch. TAB expects the move to save $1 million after it sells the Auckland center's site and hires 25 staff at the other two centers.

 

 

The Auckland Council has received more than 9,500 submissions from individuals, sports clubs, anti-gambling groups, community clubs and gaming trusts for its gambling venue policies.  The council’s draft New Zealand Racing Board (TAB) Venue Policy and draft Class 4 Gambling (Pokie) Venue Policy requires all councils to have policies on whether to allow new TAB or Class 4 venues in their area. Public hearings will be held in the next few months and the new policies adopted soon after. 

 

A small Maori health organization that reported a rise in gambling problems due to the Lotto in 2009 has alleged that there is a trend towards targeting the poor and under privileged in marketing campaigns.  Hauora Waikato, a Kaupapa Maori organization, has been investigated and audited several times since its initial warnings, but is standing firm about its findings.  

 

 

Kiwi expenditure on gaming machines dropped by USD$ 22.8 million last year, taking a 3.1 percent hit. According to figures released by the Department of Internal Affairs, Kiwis spent $70.7 million in 2012 compared to the $72.9 million registered the previous year. Both the number of machines and venues have also dropped.  There were 17,670 machines in the market in 2012 – down from 18,133 in 2011 - in 29 fewer venues.

 

Data revealed by the New Zealand authorities shows that in the year to June 2012, punters spent a total of USD $1.77 billion on all forms of gambling including TAB, lotteries, casinos, and other gaming venues, representing a 3% increase compared to the previous year. Casino gambling registered the highest growth rate at 8% largely due to the reopening of Christchurch Casino after the February 2011 earthquake, and SkyCity (SKC:NZ) floor expansions. The 2011 Rugby World Cup in Auckland pushed TAB racing and sports betting growth of 4.9% collecting USD $240 million.

SkyCity (SKC:NZX) is seeking Government approval for more gaming machines in return for building a $350 million national convention centre.  However, the company says its expansion plans are not linked to the convention centre proposal and denied suggestions that the controversial deal had been finalized

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