A number of site operators of pokies machines in Port Moresby have taken offense to the National Gaming Board bragging about increasing its revenues when it is not sorting out the long outstanding issue of an equitable sharing of current pokies revenues (The National, 15 June).
At the moment the monthly revenue is shared 75 percent to the Gaming Board and 25 percent to the Site Operators.
A further 2 percent is taken out of the Operators’ 25 percent share leaving the Operator with a mere 23 percent or so each month. The Operator then has to pay for staff wages, security, rent, electricity, water, and bank loans. That leaves a tiny 5 percent or so of gross monthly revenue for profits.
This point has been raised to the Gaming Board Chairman and CEO so many times in writing, and in meetings so many times and yet the Gaming Board is not responding to the Operators. The issue of equitable sharing has not even been placed as an agenda before the Gaming Board. We the Operators demand that the Gaming Board immediate take up this issue and make a determination forthwith. A fairer equation is that 60 percent of gross monthly revenue must go to the Site Operators who bear all the costs of making this money.
Some Papua New Guinean SMEs are operating pokies machines and it is the Government’s job to assist them with better revenue so that they can grow family owned businesses in PNG.
Even if the Gaming Board’s 75 percent take is seen as taxation that is massively excessive by any standards in any country in the world.
Indeed, it may be argued that the Government through the Gaming Board is using Site Operators some of whom are citizens of this country as slave labour to maximin their revenues. Any forensic analysis of the Gaming Board’s costs of regulating the Pokies Machines in this country will demonstrate that they are making a killing using cheap labour and disenabling PNG businesses from growing.
Before the Gaming Board talks about Casinos and any other form of gambling the Board must firstly deal with the Pokies Site Operators issue for a fair and equitable share of the monthly pokies revenue. The Site Operators demand a 60 percent share of the monthly revenue and 40 percent to the Gaming Board.