New Zealand saw a 9.2-per-cent decrease in lottery takings in the most recent financial year, although overall gambling grew slightly.
Figures released by the Department of Internal Affairs (DIA) for the 12 months through to March 31, 2015, show that lottery revenue fell from NZ$463m (€278.9m/$306.1m) to NZ$420m, with a lack of big jackpot prizes identified as the main reason for the decline.
The four major national lotteries in the country are run by the New Zealand Lotteries Commission, with the main Lotto draw offering a top prize pool of NZ$1m each week and the supplementary Powerball offering much bigger jackpots.
Overall gambling revenue was up by 1.2 per cent to NZ$2.09bn, with more spent in casinos, on non-casino slots, racing and sports betting.
A DIA spokesperson said: “Lotto sales are quite volatile and driven by the size of first division and jackpot prizes. In 2015, fewer customers were drawn to Lotto products, since there was only one week in which the Powerball jackpot went above NZ$20m. Prior to 2015, Lotto sales were on an upward trend, with an average increase of five per cent per annum from 2010 to 2014.”
The NZ TAB racing and sports betting saw revenue growth of 4.8 per cent to NZ$325m in 2015, thanks to an increase in sports betting and the introduction of a new TAB mobile app.
The net take from non-casino gaming machines increased 1.5 per cent to NZ$818m in 2015, despite a backdrop of declining numbers of venues and machines.
The net take from the country’s six casinos increased 8.5 per cent to NZ$527m in 2015 and followed a period of significant capital investment by the SkyCity casino operator in particular.
The DIA added: “When we adjust for inflation, we see that gambling behaviour has varied only slightly over the past six years, ranging from a low of NZ$2.06bn in 2011 to a high of NZ$2.10bn in 2012.”