Pokies spending rises again in New Zealand

Slot machine spending in New Zealand posted its fourth year of growth in September, with latest figures showing a 3.4 percent annual increase, according to data from the Department of Internal Affairs.

Gaming machine proceeds (GMP) for the 12 months ended September 30, 2017 rose from NZ$849 million (US$588 million) to NZ$878.2 million.

The increase in slot machine spending comes despite a reduction in the number of gaming venues and gaming machines.

In 2017, the number of venues fell by 4.2 per cent to 1,163 in the period, while the number of machines also declined by 3.1 per cent to 15,717.

The number of licence holders is also down from a peak of 361 in Sept 2012 to 263 in Sept 2017.

An independent analysis commissioned by the Department of Internal Affairs was not able to explain the upward trend in spending evident since 2013, but suggested that Standalone Progressive Prize machines were a factor in increasing proceeds.

“Expenditure might be expected to increase as GDP, population, employment, earnings, consumer confidence and the number of international visitors increase, but the opposite appears to be true,” a report from consultancy firm BERL said.

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