The casinos of New Zealand have seen an increase in visitor spending for the year to June, as tourism numbers reach record highs and the economy is in good condition. The Department of Internal Affairs has reported an increase of 2.6% when it comes to gambling spend, after changes in population and inflation are considered. The boom in tourism helped to push the spending at casinos up by 11.1%, along with casino machine improvements and higher income rates.
While the gambling industry sees the increases as a good thing, the Problem Gambling Foundation of New Zealand does not. Andree Froude is a spokeswoman for the foundation who stated that while the level of spending at the pokies is stable, the amount is still too high. According to Froude, more than 40% of the money lost by gamblers is done so by those who have a gambling problem.
More money is being spent on TAB bets and Lotto tickets by bettors thanks to online sales as well as checkout sales. The year to June totals for TAB racing and sports betting showed an increase of 5.3% as players were provided with more betting options. The lottery saw an increase as well, by 4%, due to the twice a week Lotto draws taking the place of the Big Wednesday promotion.
New Zealanders are spending, on average, around 616 dollars a year on gambling. Around 95 dollars is being spent per year on betting while 122 dollars is used for Lotto tickets, on average.