In New Zealand, gambling spending is on the decline. According to statistics released by the Department of Internal Affairs, Kiwis spent 4% less on gambling than they had in the previous year. Local responsible gambling advocates have taken this to mean that residents are becoming more aware of the potential harms of gambling.
As a result of the fall in spending, several other gambling-related numbers have taken a dive. For example, the number of gaming license holders has fallen to 353 from 359 in 2012. The total number of pokies has also declined. In 2012, there were 18 001 pokies; now, there are just 17 542.
While a decline in spending may be negative for gaming clubs and the gambling industry as a whole, it is positive thing for local residents. Over the course of the past few years, gambling addiction numbers have climbed to an all-time high in New Zealand. Local politicians have been working hard to reduce problem gambling rates, and their efforts are paying off.
The introduction of MP Te Ururoa Flavell’s Harm Reduction Bill seems to have alerted locals to the harms of gambling. The bill has received a great deal of media attention, and it is likely to have discouraged some punters from wagering on pokies in the past year.