We are already experiencing the impact of Covid-19 on the global economy. However, not all industries faced tremendous losses. Look at New Zealand and their gambling scene, for instance. Gambling spending in New Zealand in 2020 was higher than ever; here are the statistics.
Gambling in New Zealand in the Middle of the Pandemic
The limited number of land-based casinos doesn’t stop New Zealanders from enjoying their favourite games. On the contrary, especially in the year of pandemic, when social distancing was of the utmost importance, the popularity of online casinos skyrocketed.
Every adult New Zealander had thousands of slot games, poker games, blackjack, and many others at their disposal. As a result, every adult Kiwi spent around 252 dollars in online casinos during October and November 2020. On the other hand, the global health crisis followed by the lockdown caused the overall gambling spending to decrease, meaning spending on pokies decreased by 18% and on casinos by 22%. In comparison, the lotteries were quite popular, with a rise in revenue by approximately 13%.
Online Gambling in New Zealand and Legal Regulations
The New Zealand Gambling Commission regulates online gambling in the country. The passing of the law in May 2020 allows residents to visit online casinos, defining it as a leisure activity. The only two operators that offer legal online gambling in the country are TAB and Lotto NZ. Also, the commission is quite strict when it comes to licensing and providing permits to unlicensed casino operators.
As predicted, once the law was in force, New Zealanders started enjoying some of the most popular online casino games, including poker, blackjack, roulette, baccarat, and slots.
The Overall Spending on Online Gambling
New Zealanders spend around 350 million dollars on online gambling yearly. The amount doesn’t come as a surprise, because Kiwis are huge fans of racing and sports betting.
The statistics show that in 2020, every adult New Zealander spent around NZD 572 on gambling. With the different games available, the spending looked like this:
- NZD 204 on pokies
- NZD 160 on Lotto tickets
- NZD 128 at casinos
- NZD 80 at the TAB New Zealand
Profit from Pokies Is More Than Noticeable
Like all other industries, the gambling space was also affected by the outbreak of the pandemic. As a result, the overall gambling revenue dropped at the beginning of 2020. However, the situation changed as the year was coming to an end.
According to the Department of Internal Affairs after the level four lockdown restrictions were removed, profits from pokies had a tremendous increase of 116%. In other words, or better say figures, the profit was $130,661,758 (June quarter).
As people got access to class four venues in September, the profits continued to grow, meaning in September 2020 it was around 8% higher than experts predicted. According to Chris Thornborough (Department of Internal Affairs), the results were surprising.
“We’ve been tracking the pokie money through Covid, and we knew there was going to be an impact, but we were surprised by the bounce-back once the pokie restrictions were eased. We didn’t anticipate that there’d be quite as vigorous a bounce back as there was over the December quarter,” stated Mr Thornborough.
In addition, the situation made New Zealanders turn to Lotto, which leads us to the figure of $631 – the amount every adult Kiwi spent on lottery tickets. The increased popularity of the lottery resulted from gambling restrictions caused by the lockdown.
Light at the End of a Tunnel
According to New Zealand law, 40% of poker machine proceeds must be distributed to local communities, which indicates that the increase in gambling at the end of the year was quite beneficial for the country. Peter Dengate Thrush, a chairperson for the Gaming Machine Association, sees the situation as ”a nice boost for communities” because the money from the gambling industry goes to the art, culture, and sports sectors.
“New Zealand, in general, has not suffered as much from the Covid experience as we might’ve done; we’re seeing rebounds across the whole of the economy. You have a look at the GDP figures for the last year – I was having a look earlier – I think overall we’re seeing a rebound in that quarter of 14 percent in goods in that final quarter,” said Peter Dengate Thrush.
Enjoy Your Favorite Games, But Be Responsible
It is safe to say that one of the most common phrases we used in 2020 was ‘Be responsible.’ These two words reminded us to take care of ourselves and our loved ones. But being responsible doesn’t only apply to our physical health; it refers to all our actions.
Gambling is fun and exciting. And, as was the case in New Zealand, it can also be beneficial for the community. However, once you decide to enter the colourful world of gambling, choose an operator you can rely on because aside from spending your money, you are giving your time, too, so invest wisely.
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