New Zealand / Covid 19

Pokies see 116% profits increase after Covid-19 lockdown

15:26 pm on 23 November 2020

Profits from gaming machines have seen a huge leap on mid-year figures, after level 4 Covid-19 lockdown ended.

Photo: RNZ

Te Tari Taiwhenua - the Department of Internal Affairs - said the 116 percent increase on the June quarter - or $130,661,758 was linked to the end of Covid-19 restrictions.

A spokesperson said the September quarter figures were higher than any of the June quarter figures for the past five years, and were linked to regained access to class four venues when lockdown ended.

The venues had been closed for seven to eight weeks.

The figures were also influenced when the Auckland region moved back into alert level 3 lockdown.

"New Zealanders were able to access Class 4 venues which were closed for seven to eight weeks during the Covid-19 lockdown, and then again as the Auckland region was moved back into alert level 3."

The profit for the September 2020 quarter was 8.1 percent higher than forecast, based on the March 2020 quarter and historic gambling patterns.

Te Tari Taiwhenua is changing the way it structures and presents gambling data to increase its usability for more audiences in hopes that would provide more opportunities for understanding the wider gambling sector.

The Department of Internal Affairs releases quarterly statistics in its role as regulator for gambling.

The Ministry of Health funds and coordinates problem gambling services. For free and confidential information call 0800 654 655 or see the ministry's website.