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Operational Update #3 from the Department of Internal Affairs

23 April 2020

COVID-19 relief measures for clubs

Further to our update on 7 April 2020, we continue to monitor and assess the impacts of COVID-19 on the gambling sector.

We recognise that while many clubs are already accessing the government COVID-19 wage subsidy, clubs are also facing immediate pressures relating to general expenses not currently covered through their individual “Authorised Purpose” statements set out in licence conditions.

In line with the approach taken for non-club class 4 operators, the Department has identified an additional operational change that will ease the short-term financial pressures on clubs.

Effective immediately, general expenses necessary “to keep the lights on” and general support of staff during the epidemic will be considered general administration expenses of the club (and thus an authorised purpose). The percentage of funds specified in the license agreement that can be allocated to the authorised purpose remains unchanged.

This will be for an initial period of twelve weeks (from midnight 25 March), with flexibility to extend this period or respond to future COVID-19 Alert Levels as required.

What do clubs need to do?

Clubs will need to itemise these authorised purpose payments separately and specifically within their financial statements, so that it is clear when the renewal assessment is made how the club applied any net proceeds in line with this response.

Relief measures already announced for class 4 operators

7 April: Exercising leniency in relation to Regulations 10 and 11

27 March: Easing financial and regulatory pressures for C4 sector

The Gambling Group is working through the operational detail for implementing these measures and will provide detailed guidance to operators in the next few weeks.

Updates

We are continuing to monitor the situation and are updating the questions and answers on DIA’s gambling website regularly.

If you have specific questions, please email gambling.compliance@dia.govt.nz

Lisa Docherty
Director Gambling Regulatory System

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