Although some may use gambling for different reasons like earning extra money or having fun, to others it has become a problem and they cannot live without it.
When it comes to New Zealand, gambling is part of the residents in this country called Kiwis.
No one can predict who becomes an addict to gambling but once the behavior can longer be controlled then it becomes an addiction and this is what has become of the Kiwis.
The Kiwis spend a lot of money on the gambling industry more than some other important sectors ;with most of the money being put into pokie machines.
How much Kiwis spend on gambling?
Last year, the Kiwis in New Zealand spent $648 on gambling which was an increase of $49m from the previous year without putting population growth and inflation into account.
Among the six Casinos in New Zealand,$580m was spent and four of these casinos have had record years.
According to NZHerald all together New Zealand spent $2.4 billion on gambling.
According to the director of AUT’s Gambling and Addictions Research Centre, Professor Max Abbot this amount was contributed by half to two-thirds of addicted gamblers who had given up on gambling but then fell back into the habit.
Also migrants from Pacific Islands and China who were new to the gambling industry became addicted and contributed to the rise.
According to the Department of Internal Affairs, the largest amount of money was spent on pokies which are non gaming machines. The total amount spent was $895m.
Much as the harm caused by problem gambling from pokie machines has remained the same for over a decade in New Zealand, the decreasing expenditure trend continues because the officials have increased their problem harm reduction efforts on these machines.
When gambling is no longer harmless fun then it becomes problem gambling.
According to the director of AUT’s Gambling and Addictions Research Centre, Professor Max Abbott, the money from gambling has reduced by 20 per cent in 15 years regardless of the harm caused by gambling remaining the same.
Also there was a slight difference of $4 in the money spent by each person on these machines last year .That is from $242 to $238 each.
How much is spent on online gambling?
In New Zealand, around $350m is spent by Kiwis on online gambling every year!
This money came from the different games like sports betting and racing betting whose growth is also attributed from the successful marketing campaigns during World Cup Football matches and other events.
According to RNZ, figures for 2020 showed that equivalent every Kiwi is spending around NZD 572 on gambling, divided on NZD 128 at casinos, NZD 160 at lotto, NZD 80 at the TAB, and enormous NZD 204 is spent on pokies.
What about the profits from pokies?
According to the Department of Internal Affairs also known as (Te Tari Taiwhenua), profits from Pokies increased by 116 per cent after the lockdown restrictions from Covid-19 coronavirus level 4 were removed.
This was in the amount of $130,661,758 in the June quarter.
In September, people gained access to class four venues which had been closed for seven to eight weeks and this raised the quarter figures more than those of June for the past five years.
The profit in the September 2020 quarter was 8.1% higher than what was being forecast; based on the March 2020 quarter and gambling patterns historically.
Putting the Auckland region back into Covid-19 lockdown alert level 3 affected the figures.
The Department of Internal Affairs (Te Tari Taiwhenua) is a regulator for gambling is responsible for releasing quarterly statistics, so as a way of increasing user audiences, it is providing more chances for people to understand the sector of gambling which is wide.
In conclusion, gambling is usually harmless and fun but if it turns into an addiction then it becomes a problem which may not be easy to overcome.
It’s from this addiction that one gets other problems which can be psychological, physical and social. This may not only be a problem for the Kiwis of New Zealand but also for other nations as well.