The Department of Internal Affairs

Te Tari Taiwhenua | Department of Internal Affairs

Building a safe, prosperous and respected nation


Gambling spend increased in 2006/07 year


Statistics released today show New Zealanders’ gambling spend is rising.

Releasing the annual gambling expenditure figures, the Department of Internal Affairs Gambling Policy Manager, John Markland, said that spending on the main forms of gambling increased by 2.2 per cent to $2.020 billion in 2006/07, following a decrease to $1.977 billion in 2005/06.

“The reversal is due largely to players spending five per cent more on pub and club pokies, the non-casino gaming machines,” said Mr Markland. “This partly reverses the trend from the previous two years, when players spent less on these machines.”

Overall spending in 2006/07 on gambling was made up of:

Gambling product
2006/07 Spending (Player Losses)
Increase / Decrease from 2005/06
Racing and sports betting
+ 4.2%
Lotteries Commission products
+ 3.0%
- 4.7%
Non-casino gaming machines
+ 5.0%
Total spending
$2.020 billion*
+ 2.2%
* Total is not the sum of the column due to rounding.

Mr Markland said that the non-casino gaming machine trend is consistent with overseas experience following the introduction of smoke-free legislation.

“Spending drops initially then creeps back up over a period of up to five years. Rates of growth, though, tend to remain below what they were before the ban.”


Further details on gambling expenditure are available in the table Gambling Statistics 1983-2007 and the explanatory notes that accompany this media release.

The Gambling Act 2003 became law on 18 September 2003 with lead-in periods for most of its provisions. The Act came fully into force on 1 July 2004.

Key objectives of the Act are to: control the growth of gambling, prevent and minimise the harm that can be caused by gambling, limit opportunities for crime and dishonesty, and ensure that money from gambling benefits the community.

The amount paid to community purposes from non-casino gaming machines depends not only on the level of gaming machine revenue, but also on the costs taken out, and any misappropriation from that revenue.

“Gaming machine revenue” is the same as “spending” or “expenditure”. It is the amount players lose on the machines.

The number of non-casino gaming machines declined from 25,221 as at 30 June 2003, to 20,120 as at 30 June 2007. The number of non-casino gaming machine venues declined from 2,122 to 1,598 over the same period.

All non-casino gaming machines had to be connected to an electronic monitoring system (EMS) from 19 March 2007. The Department releases EMS data on a quarterly basis.

Media contact:

John Markland Phone 04 495 9354
Manager, Gaming, Racing and Censorship Policy Cellular 027 440 6624

Trevor Henry Phone 04 495 7211
Communications Advisor Cellular 027 584 3679