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Gamblers spent $49 million more in FY 2017/18

Gamblers in New Zealand spent $2.38 billion dollars on the four main forms of gambling in the 2017/18 financial year, $49 million (2 per cent) more than the previous year, according to figures compiled by the Department of Internal Affairs. Spending on lotteries increased 1.1 per cent, while non-casino gaming machine expenditure rose 2.9 per cent. Racing and sports betting, and casinos recorded increases of 3.6 per cent and 1.1 per cent respectively.

Adjusting for the effects of both inflation and changes to New Zealand’s population (18 years and older), gambling expenditure decreased by 2.1 per cent, from an average of $648 per person in 2016/17, to $634 per person in 2017/18.

The take from TAB racing and sports betting increased 3.6 per cent from $338 million in 2016/17 to $350 million in 2017/18. Betting turnover increased due to a combination of strong acquisition through numerous successful marketing campaigns such as the Spring Racing Carnival and FIFA World Cup, and significant growth in digital channels via product and feature enhancements to the TAB website and mobile app. After adjusting for both inflation and changes in the adult population, expenditure on TAB racing and sports betting decreased from an average of $94 per person in 2016/17 to $93 per person in 2017/18.

The take from NZ Lotteries’ product sales increased 1.1 per cent from $555 million in 2016/17 to $561 million in 2017/18. Betting turnover increased due to the continuation of enhancements made to Lotto games in 2017 and a high jackpot run. Sales also remained steady in the latter half of the year despite the Powerball jackpot being struck more often than would normally be expected. After adjusting for both inflation and changes in the adult population, expenditure on NZ Lotteries’ products decreased from an average of $154 per person in 2016/17 to $149 per person in 2017/18.

The take from non-casino gaming machines (“pokies”) increased 2.9 per cent from $870 million in 2016/17 to $895 million in 2017/18. After adjusting for both inflation and changes in the adult population, expenditure on pokies decreased slightly from an average of $242 per person in 2016/17 to $238 per person in 2017/18.

The take from the country’s six casinos increased 1.1 per cent from $572 million in 2016/17 to $578 million in 2017/18. SkyCity, with four of New Zealand’s six casinos, said the period delivered a record year for the company both in terms of earnings and net profit, with a strong rebound in International Business and solid performance in New Zealand. After adjusting for both inflation and changes in the adult population, expenditure at casinos decreased from an average of $159 per person in 2016/17 to $154 per person in 2017/18.

Communities benefited from an estimated $749 million, equal to 31.4 per cent of gambling expenditure in 2017/18, for various purposes.

• The New Zealand Racing Board allocated $161 million, mostly to support racing club activities and infrastructure;

• The Lottery Grants Board allocated $243 million for a range community purposes including social, arts, heritage, sports and environmental projects;

• Non-casino gaming machine trusts raised an estimated $295 for authorised community purposes;

• Non-casino gaming machine clubs raised an estimated $46 million for their own purposes; and,

• Casinos paid $4 million to their community trusts.

This year, the Department of Internal Affairs has released a new visualisation tool to assist researchers, local government, charities and others with accessing and comparing Gaming Machine Proceeds data. The GMP Dashboard tool will be updated every quarter with the latest statistics, allowing viewers to see trends over time and delve into data by local authority.

Detailed quarterly statistics are available on the Department of Internal Affairs website: https://www.dia.govt.nz/Resource-material-Information-We-Provide-Gaming-Statistics

Help is available if you or someone you know has a gambling problem. For free and confidential information and help you can call 0800 654 655 or visit https://www.health.govt.nz/your-health/healthy-living/addictions/harmful-gambling. The Ministry of Health funds and coordinates problem gambling services.


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