Taverns are preparing to welcome players back to their gaming rooms
Yesterday, New Zealand recorded its first day with no new Covid-19 cases since a stringent national lockdown began more than one month ago. Now a deadline looms for the prime minister, Jacinda Ardern, to decide whether the country’s lockdown rules will ease further next Monday.
Many small businesses in New Zealand with pokie machines have had zero income in since the Coronavirus crisis started but as restrictions are eased, they are preparing to open up again. Getting gaming up and running will be vital to support those small businesses said the Gaming Machine Association of NZ.
Bruce Robertson, chairman of the Gaming Machine Association of New Zealand said ‘The current environment is tough for everyone, and they will need the community funding our gaming rooms provide more than ever. ‘
Robertson added that a lot of work has been going on during the quarantine to make gaming rooms safe for players from a problem gambling standpoint, and ensure social distancing rules are followed. He added that: “No rooms have more than 18 machines, so it’s easy to take note of who is playing and when.”
Robertson further mentioned the facial recognition technology in New Zealand’s gaming venues, which can help identify those that have self-excluded. ‘The requirement for venues to identify and record all customers will only enhance existing systems,’ he said in a recent press release.
“When the lockdown was announced, we were already implementing initiatives to support safe play, ensure social distancing, and enable customer tracking.” Hospitality New Zealand Board member Tony Crosbie said. “We are ready.”
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