The Gambling Act 2003 sets out requirements for an ‘integrated problem gambling strategy focused on public health’. The Ministry of Health is responsible for developing and refreshing the strategy at three-yearly intervals, and for implementing it. The Crown recovers the cost of developing and implementing the strategy, by way of a ‘problem gambling levy’ set by regulation at a different rate for each of the main gambling sectors.
On 20 August 2018 the Ministry of Health released its draft Strategy to Prevent and Minimise Gambling Harm for 2019/20-2021/22 consultation document and invited submissions, which closed on 28 September 2018.
During the consultation period, 10 meetings were held in Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin; including one each for Māori, Pacific, an Asian viewpoints, one for the gambling industry in each of Auckland and Wellington and one in Auckland for people affected by gambling harm.
By the close of the consultation period, the Ministry had received a total of 82 written submissions representing a range of groups and individuals.
An external contractor, Allen and Clarke, analysed the submissions and has produced Strategy to Prevent and Minimise Gambling Harm 2019/20-2021/22: Submissions analysis for the Ministry of Health. This report and the submissions informed the Ministry’s final proposals.
The Ministry has also produced a supporting document that summarises in table form the key themes raised in the submissions and the Ministry’s response to each.
The Ministry appreciates the contribution made by those who participated in the consultation process.
The Ministry re-considered its draft Strategy and estimated problem gambling levy rates in the light of feedback from the consultation meetings and submissions. It also took into account updated gambling expenditure figures received after the consultation document was written.
Some changes were made to the draft Strategy as a result of the consultation. These changes clarify the approach to refocus and refresh services to meet the needs of vulnerable groups most at risk of gambling harm, including the use of pilots for new/refocused services and to trial technology tools to prevent and minimise harmful gambling. Additional information is provided about the pilots and allocated funds.
There is no change to the proposed overall cost of the Strategy to the Ministry. As a result of updated information used to calculate the levy, there are minor increases in the levy rates for each levy paying sector and in the amount of levy payment forecast for 2019/20-2021/22, compared with the consultation document.
The Ministry’s proposed strategy and levy rates document is available for download in the box above.
Once again, thank you to those who made submissions. We appreciate your participation in this process.
The Gambling Commission will convene a consultation meeting, to which it will invite a selected group of stakeholders. It will subsequently submit its recommendations to Ministers of Health and Internal Affairs.
The Ministry expects Cabinet to approve the new Strategy in March 2019, and regulations to be made and the new Strategy and levy rates to be published in May 2019. The new Strategy and the new levy rates come into effect on 1 July 2019.