Gambling can lead to significant health, social, and economic implications for individuals and families . Harms associated with gambling may include addiction, social isolation, depression, suicide, relationship breakdown, lowered work productivity, job loss, bankruptcy, and crime, including family violence . National statistics demonstrate that the harms of gambling disproportionately affect Māori, Pacific people, and those living in low socioeconomic areas [13, 14].
Studies of the detrimental effects of gambling have confirmed a link between the geographic accessibility of gambling establishments and the prevalence of problem gambling [15-17]. People living close to all types of gambling premises have a higher chance of becoming problematic gamblers than those living at a distance from gambling premises . Gambling machine establishments (specifically ‘Class 4 venues’ or ‘non-casino’ pubs and clubs) are typically clustered within socioeconomically deprived areas [19-21] and this has been shown to widen existing social and health inequalities [20, 22]. Gambling tends to be ‘economically regressive’, meaning that it increases inequality by diverting money from a larger group (typically of lower socioeconomic status) to a smaller group (of higher socioeconomic status) .
Gambling machine density has reduced steadily in New Zealand since the early 2000s, in large part due to the adoption of ‘sinking lid’ policies by many Territorial Authorities (when an existing ‘pokie’ venue closes, consent is not granted for another to be established) .
This indicator presents gambling machine density (the number of gambling machines per 10,000 population), in greater Christchurch and New Zealand from 2008 to 2019 (Internet or live casino games are not captured by this measure). Gambling machine proceeds, per annum, per 10,000 population aged 15 years and over, are also described.
The figure shows that gambling machine density in greater Christchurch has declined substantially over the last ten years, from 60.7 machines per 10,000 population in 2008 to 38.1 machines per 10,000 population in 2019. This pattern is broadly in line with gambling machine density across New Zealand.
Similarly, gambling machine proceeds, per annum, per 10,000 population aged 15 years and over have been steadily declining across greater Christchurch and New Zealand over the last ten years. For greater Christchurch, gambling machine proceeds have declined from $2.62M per 10,000 population aged 15 years and over, in 2008 ($262 per person) to $2.12M per 10,000 population aged 15 years and over, in 2019 ($212 per person), (data not shown).
For New Zealand, gambling machine proceeds have declined from $2.71M to $2.38M per 10,000 population over this time period. Although proceeds are down overall between 2008 and 2019, gambling machine proceeds for New Zealand have been increasing slightly over the last four years, up from $2.25M in 2015.
Source: Department of Internal Affairs.
Survey/data set: Administrative data to December 2019. Access publicly available data from the Department of Internal Affairs website www.dia.govt.nz/diawebsite.nsf/wpg_URL/Resource-material-Information-We-Provide-Gaming-Machine-Venues-Numbers-and-Expenditure-by-Territorial-AuthorityDistrict
Source data frequency: Quarterly.