NZ gaming industry ready to reopen

New Zealand’s pubs and taverns are preparing to welcome players back to their gaming rooms, with the country likely to further ease COVID-19 restrictions in the coming weeks, local media reports. 

Gaming Machine Association of New Zealand chairman Bruce Robertson said that a lot of work has been going on to make gaming rooms safe for players from a problem gambling standpoint, and ensure social distancing rules are followed. 

“Gaming rooms lend themselves well to providing a safe environment. Due to the need to ensure safe gambling practices, they’re already carefully managed and closely supervised. No rooms have more than 18 machines, so it’s easy to take note of who is playing and when.”

Robertson also pointed out the introduction of facial recognition technology in New Zealand’s gaming venues, which can help identify those that have self-excluded. 

“When the lockdown was announced, we were already implementing initiatives to support safe play, ensure social distancing, and enable customer tracking,” GMANZ and Hospitality New Zealand Board member Tony Crosbie said. “We are ready.”