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Third Quarter Pokie Statistics Reflect The Impacts Of COVID 19

The latest quarterly statistics for pokies in pubs and clubs reflect the ongoing impacts of COVID-19 restrictions as New Zealand has moved through the Alert Levels.

The third quarter (July-September 2020) statistics, released by Te Tari Taiwhenua (Department of Internal Affairs), show a far higher increase in Gaming Machine Profits (GMP) than was the case between the June and September quarters over the past five years, as New Zealanders were able to access Class 4 venues which were closed for seven-eight weeks during the COVID-19 lockdown, and then again as the Auckland region was moved back into Alert Level 3 .

The headline statistics for June to September 2020 show:

· GMPincreased by 116.1 percent ($130,661,758.18) in the June to September 2020 quarter, compared to an average increase of 3.2 percent in each of the previous five June to September quarters.

· The actual GMP figure for the September 2020 quarter ($243,250,908) is 8.1 percent ($18,295,621) higher than what was forecast, based on the March 2020 quarter and historic gambling patterns.

Te Tari Taiwhenua is also changing the way it structures and presents gambling data to increase its usability for more audiences. This work includes presenting data in machine readable formats to make it more accessible and shareable. DIA hopes this new way of presenting data will provide more opportunities to understand the wider gambling sector.

The Department of Internal Affairs releases quarterly statistics in its role of regulator for gambling. The Department collects statistics including the numbers of gaming machines, venues, and profits to provide accurate information about gambling.

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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