Trevor Mallard, a Labour party legislator, proposed amendments to the pending Gambling Harm Reduction Bill that would require casino and slot machine operators to halt gambling between 4am and 9am each day, to align with liquor sale restrictions. The amendments would also require operators to provide a way for gamblers to pre-set limits on losses and block racecourse operators from using machine proceeds for prize stakes. Maori Party legislator Te Ururoa Flavell, the original sponsor of the bill, last month reached a compromise with the ruling National Party to water down the bill’s requirements, but Mallard’s amendments would reverse those changes.
The Department of Internal Affairs meanwhile said that gambling machine spending at pubs and clubs slipped 3.2 percent in the year to June 30 to NZ$826.3 million ($650.1 million). The number of machines in operation dropped 2.3 percent to 17,534 as 44 venues closed, leaving 1,356 open. Burglars this week broke into a bar in Levin and stole about NZ$4,000 from 12 machines, while inflicting about NZ$40,000 of damage in the process