A new twist in the pokie saga has grown in New Zealand with businesses hosting pokies wanting a cut of the actual profits from the pokies rather than simply gaining a fee for having them on their premises.
The companies, such as bars and the like, want to gain a profit share rather than commission. The feeling is that this will go some way to covering not only the costs burdened with housing them, but also the funds raised for the local area at the same time.
The idea is one that has gained great controversy, but not in the circles you would imagine. The gambling industry who own the pokies and would have to pay out have not spoken out on the idea, it is actually the Problem Gambling organization and some Labour MP’s that have opposed the move.
Both the Problem Gambling organization and some Labour MP’s have said that companies housing pokies should be looking at ways to reduce gambling, not cashing in on the use of pokies in their business venues.
The move by Hospitality NZ is to request 16 per cent of profits from pokies and also to have the ability to transfer pokie licences. The request is also to remove the requirement of the 37% to be given back to the community and change the way this happens.
Vice-president Reg Hennessy of Hospitality New Zealand said:
“The reason we came up with 16 per cent is that’s roughly what we’re getting paid now.
“All these things are so well governed and policed now that there’s no way it would incentivise people to encourage gambling.”
“These people say things in Parliament and they don’t know what they’re talking about and that is just absolute crap.”
It will be interesting to see how the gambling companies view the proposal and what happens moving forward.