In New Zealand the gaming industry has seen many changes, changes that started coming into effect by the late 1980s. One of the major changes was the introduction of the Lotto in 1987. Prior to the New Zealand lottery, gaming revenues were mainly derived through the purchasing of a Golden Kiwi ticket or paying a visit to the TAB. The introduction of the Lotto saw a steady rise in revenue with $248.5 million in complete sales in the first year to a figure that had more than doubled by 1998, sitting at $638.7 million. In total, and these are figures derived from 1998, New Zealanders were spending over $1 billion on gambling with a total gaming turnover of $6.1 billion being reported.
Gambling gets more and more popular over the years. The incorporation of various technologies has made it even more widespread and easy to access than ever before, with a corresponding rise in revenue. In 2015, for example, gamblers in New Zealand spent a total of $2,091 billion on their favourite games, and the industry seems set to just keep on growing.
Casinos and Gaming Machines
The amount of gaming machines in New Zealand is immense, reinforcing the notion that New Zealanders are big on gambling. These machines are even popular outside of casinos, showing how much they are part of everyday life in New Zealand. Reports dating back to 1998 indicated a total of 2 400 sites at which machines could be found. By 1999 these reports would show that there were over 13 000 standalone machines in use outside of casinos and over 1 500 in use inside of casinos. Gaming turnover at the time was as follows:
- 40% from Gaming Machines (outside of casinos)
- 10% from the NZ Lotteries Commission
- 19% from Racing
- 31% from Casinos
Telephone betting, aka phone betting was something initially introduced by TAB and this added significant revenue, accounting for the 34.5% of the company’s sports and racing turnover in 1998. At the same time, and in line with international trends of online gambling, Tab launched its internet betting. The proliferation of online gambling has however taken some profits away from TAB as many New Zealand players prefer online gambling as well as mobile casino gambling, which is conducted on a phone.
The convenience of online and mobile playing and betting, as well as the fact that so many more opportunities are merely a click or a call away, make the fact that they have become so popular quite unsurprising. With lower overheads proprietors, can also afford to accept lower minimum wagers, and together with the bonuses that online operators offer they can help players and punters to win a lot more money.
Overall Casino Gaming Profit Generation
In terms of money generated from casino gaming in New Zealand, profits have seen a relatively consistent trend with 2015 thus far providing the most revenue. Since 2006 up until now, New Zealand casino gaming has seen the following financial results in US dollars:
- 2006: $383 million
- 2007: $364 million
- 2008: $373 million
- 2009: $373 million
- 2010: $365 million
- 2011: $350 million
- 2012: $353 million
- 2013: $369 million
- 2014: $388 million
- 2015: $408 million
Comparable Gaming Trends
The information for New Zealand’s online casino gaming trends are unavailable and or limited. However, land-based casino trends are very similar to those of online casinos. For instance, pokies machines account for roughly 80% of machines in land-based casinos and sites outside of casinos. The same can be said for online casinos with the majority of their games being online pokies. Online casinos tend to offer more games on the whole due to no physical constraints but in terms of the designation of games, the two mimic each other. Both offer similar amounts of pokies games and table games from a percentage stand point.