The New Zealand Department of Internal Affairs is dedicated to dealing with the issue of problem gambling. Many initiatives have been put into place to encourage responsible gambling among New Zealand players, offering them many solutions to control unhealthy gambling habits.
In 2004, regulations were passed with the aim of preventing harm and minimizing damaged caused by dangerous gambling habits. These regulations put strict limits on poker machines and other electronic gaming devices, dictating how much players may wager, where pokies can be housed and other stipulations. They help players to conduct their gambling activities responsibly, in order to prevent them from becoming problem gamblers or developing gambling addictions.
Unsuitable venues for electronic gaming devices are areas in which entertainment or leisure is not the main purpose. These include supermarkets, offices, private homes, theme parks and fast food restaurants. While there are hundreds of venues across New Zealand that do house poker machines, the point of these limitations ensure that pokies are not available in every public place, which would be likely to increase players’ urges to gamble.
In venues that house poker machines, operators are not allowed to host automatic bank teller machines in the gambling area. This prevents players from having ready access to their bank account in case they decide to spend more money than they intended on in the first place. Operators must also ensure that machines do not require players to wager more than $2.50 per play or house machines that offer more than $500 as a prize for a single spin.
Players are also encouraged to pay heed to the messages displayed on electronic gaming devices. In 2009, all gaming venues were required to install Player Information Displays, which help to keep track of their spending. These displays provide players with accurate information on their winnings and losses, and they certainly help players to keep their gambling behaviour under control