So you have played the pokies and loved them and now you want a machine of your own. The only question is how do you go about it?
There are two main things you need to focus on. The first being the law surrounding gambling and the second being how and where you actually buy a machine from.
Different countries have different laws. In Australia for example, it is illegal to own a machine whereas in New Zealand, the use of private machines is not illegal but there are still strict rules you need to abide by.
Gambling laws and licenses are administered by the Department of Internal Affairs (DIA). They are therefore the department you need to speak to in order to check whether it is permissible for you to own a pokie machine. Their answer will be based on what you intend to do with the machine, for example, whether it is for your own entertainment or whether you are intending to make a profit from it.
Generally the way the pokies industry in New Zealand works, outside of casinos, is that each machine is owned by a corporate society. These societies pay pubs and clubs to host their machines and they are licensed by the DIA. The venues then return the pokie profits to the corporate society. Charitable organizations often go to corporate societies for sponsorship and in this way, a portion of gambling profits goes back to the community.
When it comes to individuals owning machines for use in their own homes, the law becomes somewhat murky. While section 22 of the Gambling Act 2003 states that it is legal to run tournaments, play bingo, and other forms of gambling where no profit is made for the operator, this does not include the use of pokie machines. It would therefore pay to check with the DIA before attempting to buy a machine.
So now you have been granted permission but where do you find a machine?
1. Directly from the game developers
Buying pokies directly from developers such as Aristocrat is one of the best ways of finding yourself a machine. It also guarantees quality and gives you a wider range of choices as to which games you want.
Alternatively, Gaming Machine Distributors which is located in the South Island is a licensed machine seller. The downside is that they only distribute to the South Island.
2. Head online
Checking online sites such as fishpond, eBay and Trademe is a great way of finding machines. Buying online also means you may get a better price as you can compare how much different machines cost. Machines tend to go for around $400NZD but the price can go upwards depending on the game and condition of the machine.
Make sure to check where the machine is coming from however as many, particularly those on eBay, tend to be imported. If the one you want is an import then it is important to check with the DIA as to whether you can bring the pokie machine into the country.
3. Buy a machine from your local casino
Of the six casinos operating in New Zealand, all sell their old pokie machines. In fact, it is one of the easiest ways to purchase a machine. While they generally sell these pokies to clubs, pubs, and charitable institutions, casinos can also sell them to gamers looking to use them for entertainment purposes at a private residence.
Where ever you buy your machines, always make sure to check with the DIA beforehand and to comply with New Zealand gambling laws.