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Gaming Expenditure Statistics Released

GAMING EXPENDITURE STATISTICS RELEASED

Gaming expenditure statistics released today by the Department of Internal Affairs show that the amount spent on the four main sets of gaming activities for the 1999/2000 year totalled $1.3 billion, an 11% increase over the previous year.

The key points in the 2000 expenditure figures are:
· the amount spent on non-casino gaming machines increased by nearly 25% ($450m)
· the amount spent at casinos increased by approximately 17% ($343m)
· the amount spent on Lotteries Commission products fell by nearly 4% ($277m)
· the amount spent on race and sports betting increased by nearly 1% ($227m)
· the market share of the racing industry and the Lotteries Commission decreased, largely because the amount spent on these products remained static, while the market grew substantially (i.e. the total amount spent on gaming increased).

During the 2000 year two new casinos opened, one in Queenstown and the other in Dunedin.

As at 31 December 2000, non-casino gaming machine licensing statistics indicated that: · 860 societies (17 fewer than the previous quarter) were licensed to operate in clubs and on "public" premises · 17,679 gaming machines have been licensed, an increase of 539 since 1 October 2000.

Under the Gaming and Lotteries Act 1977, a licence to operate gaming machines must be issued to any applicant organisation that can show that it is established and conducted entirely for non-commercial purposes, whose intent is to raise funds for community purposes and that meets relevant policy criteria.

The Gaming Review, announced in June 2000, will consider issues relating to the appropriate regulatory regime for all forms of gaming. The Review considers the changing rates of participation in some forms of gaming and the flow-on effects of these changes on, for example, community funding and problem gambling.

The Department of Internal Affairs is also currently overseeing the New Zealand Gaming Survey, a comprehensive and significant body of work on the issue of problem gambling that will inform the Gaming Review. A Gaming Review consultation paper seeking views on all these issues will soon be available. The consultation paper will provide an appropriate forum for issues raised by the release of these statistics.

In releasing the 2000 Gaming expenditure statistics, the Department of Internal Affairs cautions readers not to confuse the terms turnover and expenditure (i.e. monies spent). Turnover does not represent the amount "spent" because much of the amount "turned over" is actually given back to players in prize money, particularly in relation to gaming machines, casinos, and race betting. For example, if a player has $20 to spend on a gaming machine and plays until the full $20 is lost it is likely that this $20 will be recorded on the machine's meters as $120 or more of turnover.

The gaming expenditure statistics are now available on the Department of Internal Affairs' gaming licensing website, www.gaminglicensing.dia.govt.nz. Statistical information about non-casino gaming machines is also available on the website. The latter information is updated on a quarterly basis.

For further information please contact Pamela Fleming, 025 575676.

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