The Department of Internal Affairs

Te Tari Taiwhenua | Department of Internal Affairs

Building a safe, prosperous and respected nation


Services › Casino and Non-Casino Gaming › Gambling Expenditure Statistics: Explanations

This page explains terms used in the annual statistics on the four main types of gambling - TAB racing and sports betting, NZ Lotteries games, gaming machines (outside casinos), and casino gambling.

Information provided by Internal Affairs' Policy Group - December 2012


Turnover is the total (gross) amount wagered by gamblers.

This figure is published by the New Zealand Lotteries Commission and by the New Zealand Racing Board for TAB betting. It includes a ‘churn’ factor, or re-investment, where the same dollar is counted more than once. This is particularly relevant for rapid re-investment forms of gaming like gaming machines or race betting.

For example, if a player has $20 to spend on a gaming machine and plays until the full $20 is lost, it is likely that this $20 will be recorded on the machine's meters as $120 or more of turnover (gross amount wagered).

Turnover is not an indicator of the amount spent by players or of the profit of the operator.

Expenditure and Gross Profit

Expenditure and Gross Profit are interchangeable terms that mean gross amount wagered minus the amount paid out or credited as prizes or dividends.

Expenditure is the amount lost or spent by players or the gross profit of the gaming operator. In the above example, the gross profit calculated by the machine meters will be $20.

Financial year-end

Financial year-end: Most gambling operators have a balance date of 30 June.

Where the balance date differs (e.g. New Zealand Racing Board at 31 July) the figures shown are as at the balance date.

New Zealand Racing Board (TAB)

New Zealand Racing Board (TAB)
data includes the introduction of new TAB products, including sports betting from 1996 and fixed odds racing betting from 1997. Previously it was ‘totalisator’ racing betting only. Data for 1996 onwards are therefore not strictly comparable with previous years.

New Zealand Lotteries Commission

New Zealand Lotteries Commission figures for 1989 are for 15 months, as its financial year-end changed from 31 March to 30 June.

Gaming machine

Gaming machine data from 2008 onwards is collected by, and available from, the Department’s Electronic Monitoring System (EMS).

In previous years, figures were estimated using aggregate gaming duty figures and information collected by the Department.

Gaming machine turnover was calculated by applying a percentage return to players to the expenditure estimate:
  • 83% from 1989–1991
  • 85% from 1992–1996; and
  • 88% from 1997–2007 inclusive, resulting in turnover or gross amount wagered for
    • 1991: $632m;
    • 1992: $732m;
    • 1993: $815m;
    • 1994: $965m;
    • 1995: $1,138m;
    • 1996: $1,313m;
    • 1997: $1,913m;
    • 1998: $2,400m;
    • 1999: $3,000m;
    • 2000: $3,747m;
    • 2001: $4,978m;
    • 2002: $6,478m;
    • 2003: $7,845m;
    • 2004: $8,625m;
    • 2005: $8,558m;
    • 2006: $7,546m; and
    • 2007: $7,921m.


Casino data is estimated using aggregate gaming duty figures and/or information collected by the Department.

The gross amount wagered at casinos is estimated for –
  • 1995: $313m;
  • 1996: $914m;
  • 1997: $1,883m;
  • 1998: $1,914m;
  • 1999: $2,297m;
  • 2000: $2,858m;
  • 2001: $3,075m;
  • 2002: $3,417m;
  • 2003: $3,805m;
  • 2004: $4,033m;
  • 2005: $3,936m;
  • 2006: $4,104m;
  • 2007: $3,912m;
  • 2008: $3,974m;
  • 2009: $3,879m;
  • 2010: $3,783m;
  • 2011: $3,929m; and
  • 2012: $4,244.
Part-year trading is included in 1995 by Christchurch Casino, 1996 by SkyCity Auckland, 2000 by Queenstown's Wharf Casino and the Dunedin Casino, 2001 by SkyCity Queenstown, and 2003 by SkyCity Hamilton.

*You need Adobe Reader installed on your computer to view these files. If you are unable to open the files we recommend you get the latest version of Adobe Reader. You can download and install Acrobat Reader for free from the Adobe website.