New Zealand Gambling Spendings In 2020

New Zealand Gambling Spendings In 2020
The Siliconreview
08 April, 2021

Online gambling has been growing at a rapid pace in New Zealand and has shown a significant rise in certain gaming components in 2020. The Department of Internal Affairs of New Zealand keeps records of the money spent by Kiwis on gambling every year. The Kiwis have gambled more than ever in 2020 and have set high records for the same.

In the final quarter of 2020, the department has produced a report of record-high spending on pokie machines within the country. 2020 had started slow for the industry but by the end of the year, a great deal of business was established and the kiwis gambled to amazing extents that led to a higher revenue generation for the brick and mortar casinos and the New Zealand based online casinos.

Overall Spendings In 2020

Statistics for 2020 highlight that the Kiwis are joining cash casinos and spending around $252 million for online gambling activity during the months of October and November, across 14781 pokie machines which is a huge rise compared to the previous years. It is the highest record since 2007 when the Department started maintaining all the records. Due to the lockdown situation, the overall spending has decreased in 2020 where the spendings on casinos were 22% lesser, spendings on pokies were 18% lesser and TAB was down by 10%. However, the lotteries saw an increase in revenue by 13% in 2020.

Q3, Q4 had a higher revenue generation compared to other gaming forms through pokie machines, and a 116% profit in Q3 was recorded which was significantly huge. GMP or Gaming Machine Proceeds experienced an increase of 6.4%. These figures indicate that the amount spent on pokies in 2020 was the equivalent of each adult spending $204 during the end of the year which adds up to a huge amount.

Findings Of 2020 Gambling Revenues

The overall gambling spend had dropped in the initial months of 2020, but there was a big resurgence by the end of the year. After the pokie restrictions were let go of, there was a major bounce back for the industry. The annual profits of gambling were down by $128m due to the Covid situation. Kiwis spent $631m for Lotto ticket purchases which showed an increase of 13% compared to the previous years due to the unavailability of other gambling or gaming methods in 2020 due to the outbreak of Covid-19. According to the law, 40% of the poker proceeds are distributed as grants in New Zealand. With people travelling back to NZ in 2021, there will be a significant rise in retail and discretionary spending in which gaming machines play a major part.

Over the entire year, casinos were down by 22% or $505m, pokies were down by 18% or $802m, and the TAB down by 10%. Among all these, Lotto rose to $631m in 2020 attracting a major collective gambling base in the country.

Online Gambling Laws In New Zealand

Online gambling in New Zealand is regulated by the country’s own Gambling Commission. In the month of May 2020, a law was passed by both the commissions which emphasized allowing the Kiwis to continue with online gambling as a leisure activity, unlike earlier norms. Lotto NZ and TAB are the only operators that offer online gambling legal in the country. The Gambling Commission has ensured a strict imposition of laws on providing licenses to local unlicensed casino operators.

After the law was passed, the Kiwis could freely participate in online casino games like roulette, blackjack, poker, slots, baccarat among other games. Thus, 2020 showed a surge in gambling spendings in New Zealand revolving around the pokies.


The gambling market in New Zealand has tremendously grown ever since the Gambling Act of 2003 was introduced. New Zealand itself has not suffered severely due to Covid in 2020 in terms of the economy. The migration of more people in 2021 would increase gambling activities significantly.

It would also lead to improvements in the overall approach and safety of the punters thus expanding the gambling market altogether. The growth would be seen via offshore casinos and cannot be taxed if they are unregulated. This can tend to increase the change of gambling addiction among Kiwis.