Profits generated from so-called poker machines in New Zealand have seen a massive increase in mid-year figures following the ending of a level 4 coronavirus lockdown.
Earlier in November, the country’s Department of Internal Affairs – Te Tari Taiwhenua – revealed a massive 116% surge on the quarter after the lengthy coronavirus lockdown. As the Department shared, the quarter that ended in June 2020 saw the revenue generated by poker machines, also known as pokies, reach NZ$130,661,758, with the significant increase being associated with the end of the Covid-19 lockdown restrictions.
A spokesperson for the Department of Internal Affairs unveiled that the figures for the quarter that ended in September were even higher than any of the figures for the second quarter for the past five years. Apart from that, the spokesperson shared they were associated with the fact that local residents were allowed to access land-based venues after the ending of the level 4 lockdown. According to reports, the figures were also affected in a positive way at the time when the Auckland region saw its level of lockdown softened from 4 to 3.
During the shutdown, retail venues in the country, including the ones offering poker machine gambling, had remained shut for seven to eight weeks.
New Zealanders Were Able to Access Class 4 Venues Offering Poker Machines
According to data unveiled by the Department of Internal Affairs, the actual profit generated by pokies in the quarter that ended in September 2020 was 8.1% higher than the one previously projected, based on the first quarter of the fiscal year and historic gambling patterns.
Such quarterly statistics are being officially announced by the Department of Internal Affairs in its role as gambling regulatory body in New Zealand.
As it also revealed, Te Tari Taiwhenua is bringing some changes in the way it structures and presents gambling data in order to boost its usability for more audiences in hopes that would offer more opportunities for understanding the gambling sector on a larger scale.
As mentioned above, the Department estimated that the poker machines’ profit increase was largely due to the fact that residents of New Zealand were given the chance to access so-called Class 4 venues, which suffered 7 to 8-week closures during the nationwide coronavirus lockdown. Furthermore, the alert level at the Auckland region was eased, moving back from 4 to 3, which has also had a positive impact on the poker machines’ profit increase.
The statistics presented by the Department showed that the gambling machine profit for the period from June to September 2020 saw a 116.1% increase to NZ$130,661,758.18 in comparison to an average increase of 3.2% in each of June to September quarters for the previous five years.
Poker machines, also known as pokies, have been among the major concerns of New Zealand’s Government and local anti-gambling campaigner groups. The gambling terminals are considered highly addictive, as they lure gamblers into spending massive amounts of money and cause the development of gambling addiction and compulsive gambling behaviour.