New Zealand Pokies Spending On the Rise
New Zealand has recorded an increase in spending on gaming machines in pubs and clubs around the country. The Internal Affairs Department recorded an increase of 2 percent spending on gaming machines (excluding machines in casinos) from $811.4 million to $828.1 million between 2014 and 2015.
This increase was in line with a 2 percent increase in the population in New Zealand from 2014 to 2015, indicating that the spending per person has remained static despite the increased overall spending in the country. However, this has been viewed as a turnaround in pokies spending in the country following a decade of reduced spending.
Since 2004 when gambling laws were tightened and local councils were able to implement “sinking lids” on pokie numbers, the number of poker machines in venues outside casinos has dropped by a third from 25,221 to 16,393. This has corresponded to a downward trend in poker machine spending and over that same long-term period, spending on pokies outside casinos has reduced by a fifth from $1.04 billion to $828 million.
Over the last year, spending has risen most significantly in the big cities with the highest population growth, including Tauranga (6.9 percent rise), Hamilton (4.6 percent rise) and Auckland (4.5 percent rise). This has been offset with a drop of 3.1 percent in Christchurch and no change in spending in Wellington.
In Christchurch many temporary workers who were working to rebuild the city following the 2011 earthquake have now left and this may account for the drop in spending on pokie machines in the area over the last twelve months.
April 16, 2017