Gambling Compliance - 11 April 2019

12 April 2019

The below information is taken from Gambits - News for the Gambling Sector published on 11 April 2019.

The role of the regulator

Last month, we talked about DIA’s Gambling Group shifting from a focus on regime to taking a more system-wide view of gambling in New Zealand. But what does that mean for our role?

Our role as gambling regulator in New Zealand is to ensure that New Zealanders can enjoy safe and fair gambling that efficiently and equitably contributes to community wellbeing. This is clearly articulated in the purpose of the Gambling Act.

We do this in a variety of ways – through licensing, providing information, guidance and support to regulated bodies, data collection and monitoring, working with industry bodies and the health sector on harm minimisation, providing public information on gambling, facilitating connections between stakeholders in the gambling system, auditing, and a variety of other activities.

“Our role as regulator hasn’t changed,” said Acting Director Regulatory System (Gambling) Chris Thornborough. “What’s changed is that we’re taking a wider view of the gambling system and working with a wider group of stakeholders to ensure we get the best outcomes."

"We want to be more proactive, 'step over the fence' and go beyond our legislative mandate so we can harness the collective strength of the whole gambling system.

Prosecution for failing to identify a problem gambler

From time to time, it’s our job as regulator to call out practice that doesn’t align with the intentions of the Gambling Act. We’ve done this recently by announcing our first prosecution for failing to identify a problem gambler.DIA has had extensive engagement with stakeholders over a number of years on the development of harm minimisation policies and training to embed harm minimisation practices across the sector.

“Every licenced gambling operator has a harm minimisation policy in place and has had time to train staff and embed the culture of care Government expects from the gambling sector,” said Chris Thornborough.

“Venues serving alcohol are expected to look after their patrons and the same expectation applies to gambling. It’s our job to ensure that operators are taking harm minimisation seriously.”

Operators who are unclear on what’s expected, should get in touch with their society to make sure they’re aligned with their harm minimisation policies. The Gamble Host materials freely available also provide excellent guidance on what venues can do to look after their patrons.

Improved ordering system for FREE Gamble Host Resources

All Gamble Host resources for venues are now available on the HPA Shop. This is a very simple online ordering system that allows you to view all resources on offer, select which items you’d like and have them sent out to you for free.

Gamble Host resources Evaluation

It has been a number of years since the Gamble Host resources were first launched. Anecdotally we’ve heard that these have helped venues staff fulfil their host responsibilities. The Health Promotion Agency, Department of Internal Affairs and Ministry of Health are now doing a formal evaluation of the resources and would like to hear from all Societies and venues staff via a 10-minute survey. Premium Research who are undertaking the evaluation, will send out the survey over the next couple of weeks, and will also be undertaking one-hour interviews in four regions with a small selection of Societies, venue staff, DIA Regulators, gamblers and minimising gambling harm services.

Exploring cashless gambling

With digital technologies ever more prevalent in our daily lives, DIA is starting a conversation with a range of stakeholders about whether it is feasible to pilot cashless gambling in New Zealand.

We’re bringing together a group of sector participants and organisations dealing with problem gambling to explore the benefits and the risks. This is an exploratory discussion and no decisions have been made. Therefore, it shouldn’t impact on any Societies considering facial recognition technology. We will share more information in future issues of Gambits.

Warning international gambling sites not to trade on New Zealand's good name

DIA has written to international companies operating thirteen gambling sites using the ‘.nz’ domain, warning them not to mislead New Zealand consumers.

“These gambling sites are trading on New Zealand’s reputation as a well-regulated and safe nation.  By and large, these operators are giving a misleading impression that they are based in New Zealand, to give a false sense of safety and security to online gamblers,” said Acting Director Regulatory System (Gambling) Chris Thornborough.

One operator has already responded and agreed to take down its site.

New Guidance for Clubs

This week, DIA released new guidance on Class 4 gambling for clubs. The booklet, available on the DIA website, is for those who govern, manage or work for clubs with a licence to operate Class 4 gaming machines. The guide covers everything from licencing to banking and signage and can easily be printed as a handy reference.

Did you Know?

You can view quarterly Gaming Machine Proceeds data by region via the dashboard tool on the DIA website. The data is available by region and Territorial Authority and you can select the time period too. The tool helps visualise venue and machine numbers, deprivation rating and changes over time. For example, Taranaki had the biggest change in Gaming Machine Proceeds in the quarter ending in December 2018, with a 7.7% increase (to $6,209,193) over the previous quarter.

Changes and Reminders

Performance Report needs to be included with licence application

Clubs and Societies that are reporting under Tier 3 reporting standards must provide a “performance report” with their licence application. The performance report should include both financial and non-financial information. You can find more information in Charities Services’ guidance

Remember to notify removal or disposal of Gambling Machines in storage

Machine owners must notify DIA if any gambling machines are removed or disposed from storage, within 20 days of disposal. Please use the GC2A form (Class 4 Operator’s Licence Non-Key Person Amendments/Notification) to ensure DIA’s records are up to date.

Independent Chartered Accountant Signoff required for forecast information

DIA requires agreed-upon procedures engagement to be completed on the forecast information provided in the Gaming Machine Account Summary form, for both the GC6 and GC7 licence applications. This procedure must be completed by an Independent Chartered Accountant with a Certificate of Public Practice, and must follow the revised engagement standards, which came into force from 1 January 2019 (these superseded the previous engagement standards). For more information, please refer to New Zealand Institute of Chartered Accountants Engagement Standard APS-1 (Revised).

(SOURCE: Department of Internal Affairs, Gambits)

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