Former Hospitality New Zealand Chief Executive Bruce Robertson has resigned as the Independent Chair of The Gambling Machine Association of New Zealand (GMANZ), following his appointment last week as Chair of the Christchurch Casino.

NZ Community Trust CE, Mike Knell is Acting Chair pending the election of a new chair – expected late June.

Mr Knell stated, ‘’The membership of GMANZ wish to extend a heartfelt thanks to Bruce for his service which has been instrumental in establishing strong working relationships with central and local government and the wider community at large. Bruce has been the consummate diplomat and has been an extremely effective chairman.”

GMANZ was formed in 2015 as a working group to represent the gaming machine sector in New Zealand, being formally incorporated in early 2018. The 32 not-for-profit corporate societies represented by GMANZ distributed more than $276 million to 11,000 sport and community organisations in 2018. 2019 data is currently being compiled, but it is expected that the distributions for 2019 will be at a similar level, benefitting sports clubs, community groups, schools and search and rescue services.

The current COVID-19 lockdown has had a severe impact on the sector’s ability to generate funds for distribution for the 2020 year, with the closure of all bar and restaurant venues in March.