State gambling up, other gambling down

The DIA report:

Gamblers in New Zealand spent $2091 million dollars on the four main forms of in the 2013/14 financial year, $19 million (0.9 per cent) more than the previous year, according to figures compiled by the Department of Internal Affairs. They spent more on racing, sport and lotteries; but less in casinos and on pub and club pokies.

· TAB racing and sports betting increased by 5.6 per cent, from $294 million to $311 million

· Spending on NZ Lotteries products rose 7.2 per cent, from $432 million to $463 million

· Spending on gaming machines (pokies) in pubs and clubs dropped by -2.2 per cent, from $826 million to $808 million; and

· Casino gambling expenditure declined by -2.1 per cent, from $520 million to $509 million.

So the two forms of gambling that are state monopolies have increased, while the two forms which get all the publicity in the media are actually decreasing.

When adjusted for inflation total gambling expenditure in 2014 declined by almost 20 per cent from a peak recorded in 2004 ($2610 million real dollars).

The better measure would be real spending per capita which would show an even larger decline.

Communities benefited from an estimated $613 million, or 29 per cent of gambling expenditure, for various purposes. · The New Zealand Racing Board allocated $137 million to racing club activities and infrastructure

Never understood why funds from gambling on all sports tend to go to the racing industry. The TAB should not have a monopoloy on sports betting.

· The NZ Lotteries Commission transferred $231 million to the Lottery Grants Board for distribution to community services and projects

· Non-casino gaming machine trusts raised an estimated $242 million for authorised community purposes; and,

· Casinos paid just over $3 million to their community trusts.

Almost half a billion there.

In addition, gambling operators pay a levy from their profits to meet the costs of an integrated problem gambling strategy – estimated to be $54 million (GST exclusive) for the current 2013-16 levy period.

That’s a huge amount. How effectively is that money being spent?

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