The Department of Internal Affairs (DIA) and Intralot NZ yesterday signed a heads of agreement for an integrated gambling platform (IGP) that will complement the electronic monitoring (EMS) of 19,000 non-casino gaming machines. EMS was introduced in March 2007 to track and monitor gaming machine operations in pubs and clubs, ensuring the integrity of games and the accurate accounting of money. The introduction followed the initial awarding of the contract to Greek vendor Intralot in 2005.
In a statement announcing the signing, Interal Affairs Department gambling compliance director Mike Hill is quoted as saying: “EMS provided the Department with a significant system to improve compliance with the Gambling Act 2003,” Mike Hill said, “and the IGP project will expand our compliance capabilities further. There will also be benefits for the wider community through the provision of more transparent information about the gambling sector.”
The statement continues: “The first results of the IGP will be seen next year when the Department and sector move from a paper-based licensing system to electronic licensing.
“This will bring efficiencies and enable the gambling sector to interact on-line with the Department,” Mike Hill said. “The current licensing system has reached the end of its useful life.
“The IGP will provide the Department with a web-enabled, rules-based e-licensing, systems integration, improved reporting and grants monitoring capability. It will give us a single view of how the cash flows through the gambling sector from money going into a pokie machine to its dissemination to the community for the purposes authorised under the Act.
“It will further support our approach of using the licensing system as a ‘gatekeeper’ to prevent inappropriate people entering the sector and enhance our investigations through better data collection, collation and integration.
”Increased returns to the community should also result through the sector gaining efficiencies under the IGP.”
The IGP will be a joint collaboration between the Department and Intralot, using existing infrastructure and resources wherever possible to assist in reducing costs and delivering additional business efficiencies.
“Several factors were involved in our decision to develop the IGP with Intralot including financial, leveraging off existing and proven systems, the early delivery of benefits to the community through improved information and reduced administrative sector costs and comprehensive, locally based project management,” Mike Hill said.
“We have each built on our experience with the development and running of EMS to produce an excellent, lower risk deal for both sides and for the wider community.”
INTRALOT Group General Director of Strategy, John Katakis, said: “We are really pleased with the extension of our contract in New Zealand, since it ratifies the trust and confidence on behalf of DIA. This is the result of the efficient and mutually beneficial cooperation we had with DIA in implementing successfully the EMS project and achieving a high level operating service performance out of EMS. The state-of-the-art services provided through EMS helped both DIA and the gambling sector to improve its efficiency in complying with the Gambling Act. We both believe that EMS will improve further the effectiveness, transparency, and integrity of the surveillance of the country’s gaming sector through the addition of the IGP services. Our dedicated teams both in New Zealand and Greece will work hard with the same commitment and methodology in cooperation with DIA, so as to provide a state-of-the-art integrated gambling platform.”