The Rise of the NZ Gambling Industry

New Zealand’s gambling history dates back to 1830, when bets were first placed on horse racing. Since then, the market underwent a number of change and is currently enjoying the success it enjoys nowadays. Before we dig a little deeper into facts and figures in this news post, we’re going to take a look at how the NZ gambling industry is structured. We’ll then move on to discuss annual revenues that contributed to the rise of the NZ Gambling industry.

An Overview of the New Zealand Gambling Industry

"From what we’ve seen so far, it should come as no surprise as to why the New Zealand gambling industry is booming".

As far as laws and legalities are concerned, all forms of gambling in the country are licensed and regulated by the New Zealand Gambling Commission. It was set up in the year 2013, as a means to approve all license agreements between casino providers and holders and of course, to license forms of gambling.

On that note, Kiwi players can currently bet on lotteries, sports betting, horse racing, slot machines and casino games. With regard to licensed casino venues, there are only 6 venues that currently hold a valid license at the time of country. Three of them fall under the SkyCity Casino umbrella (Hamilton SkyCity Casino, Auckland SkyCity Casino and Queenstown SkyCity Casino. The other venues are Dunedin Casino, Christchurch Casino and Wharf Casino. Whilst 6 seems like a small number, we are expecting gambling authorities to license more venues in the very near future.

Just like many other countries in the world, we are still waiting for online casinos to be fully legalized and regulated in New Zealand. That said, Kiwi players can still gamble online just as long as they sign up to a reputable offshore casino that accepts NZ players.

Stats and Figures

From what we’ve seen so far, it should come as no surprise as to why the New Zealand gambling industry is booming. Back in the late 1980s, the market underwent significant changes, one of which included the lotto in 1987. Prior to the introduction of this state lottery, the market generated revenues through what was known as a Golden Kiwi ticket. This could only be purchased when paying a visit to TAB. Bearing this in mind, the lottery contributed to a whopping $248.5 million in its first year of operation.

By 1998, Kiwi players spent over $1 billion on gambling, with a total revenue of $6.1 billion! More reports that date back to 1998 show how popular gaming machines remained a fan favourite with many players. In fact, the 1998 reports show that there was a total of 2,400 venues that offered gaming machines. This number increased to 13,000 by 1999. At the time, the industry generated the following turnover amounts: 40% (Gaming Machines), 10% (NZ Lotteries Commission) 19% (Racing).

Over the years, the NZ gambling scene continued to thrive. This is partly due to the incorporation of advanced technologies that facilitated its use across the country. revenue. For example, it was reported that gamblers spent $2,091 million alone on casino games. In fact, we can take this back as far as 2006. As you can see in the list below, the revenues continued to increase year by year:

  • 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

Since 2015, the numbers continued to rise. Nowadays, the NZ gambling industry is worth even more. In fact, it’s been reported that in 2018, players spent $2.4 billion alone. You do the math!