The Department of Internal Affairs

Te Tari Taiwhenua | Department of Internal Affairs

Building a safe, prosperous and respected nation


Gambling expenditure up in FY 2014/15

24 February 2016

Gamblers in New Zealand spent* $2091 million dollars on the four main forms of gambling in the 2014/15 financial year, $25.5 million (1.2 per cent) more than the previous year, according to figures compiled by the Department of Internal Affairs. They spent more in casinos, on non-casino pokies, racing and sports betting; but less on Lottery products.

· The net take from TAB racing and sports betting increased 4.8 per cent from $310 million in 2014 to $325 million in 2015. This was driven by an increase in sports betting and the introduction of a new TAB mobile app that attracted thousands of new customers.

· The net take from NZ Lotteries decreased 9.2 per cent from $463 million in 2014 to $420 million in 2015. Lotto sales are quite volatile and driven by the size of first division and jackpot prizes. In 2015 fewer customers were drawn to Lotto products, since there was only one week in which the Powerball jackpot went above $20 million. Prior to 2015, Lotto sales were on an upward trend, with an average increase of 5.0 per cent per annum from 2010-2014.

· The net take from non-casino gaming machines increased 1.5 per cent from $806 million in 2014 to $818 million in 2015. This increase in expenditure occurred against a backdrop of declining numbers of venues and machines, but a higher average return per machine and venue.

· The net take from the country’s six casinos increased 8.5 per cent from $486 million in 2014 to $527 million in 2015. This increase followed a period of significant capital investment by the SkyCity casino operator in particular.

When we adjust for inflation, we see that gambling behaviour has varied only slightly over the past six years, ranging from a low of $2,060 million in 2011 to a high of $2,099 in 2012.

Communities benefited from an estimated $655 million, or 31.4 per cent of gambling expenditure, for various purposes.

· The New Zealand Racing Board allocated $140 million, mostly to support racing club activities and infrastructure

· Approximately $201 million of Lottery Grants Board funding was distributed across a range of sectors, including sports, culture, health and community services;

· Non-casino gaming machine trusts raised an estimated $260 million for authorised purposes;

· Non-casino gaming machine clubs raised an estimated $50 million for their own purposes; and,

· Casinos paid just over $4 million to their community trusts.

Details are available on the Department’s website ( under Gambling Expenditure Statistics.

* Expenditure means the gross amount wagered by gamblers, less the amount paid out or credited as prizes or dividends. In other words, "expenditure" is the amount lost or spent by players, as well as the gross profit of the gambling operator.

Media contact: Trevor Henry, Senior Communications Advisor, Department of Internal Affairs Phone 04 495 7211; Mobile 21 245 8642.