Gambling Demographics in New Zealand
In New Zealand, gambling is considered an economically-significant industry. Residents spend over $1 billion on gambling activities each year, marking its popularity in the country. The demographics reached by gambling operators in New Zealand are wide-ranging, as both men and women and individuals belonging to varying age groups take part in gambling activities.
According to studies carried out by Statistics New Zealand, over 90% of residents over the age of 18 participated in gambling activities at least once in their lives. Over 80% admit to gambling at least once a year. 85% of New Zealanders play the local lottery on a regular basis while 77% choose to take part in other forms of raffles. Additionally, instant lottery games and electronic gaming machines are played by over half of New Zealand residents.
Gambling preferences seem to vary among age groups. Residents aged 25-34 are the most likely to take part in gambling activities while younger New Zealanders, aged 18-24, are less likely to gamble. Of the younger population, those that do gamble mostly take part in Instant Kiwi games and informal monetary wagers with friends. Residents aged 25-34 are most likely to play poker machines and casino games. Middle-aged and senior residents are the most likely to play the lottery.
Additionally, gambling behaviour differs between genders. Gambling was previously an activity dominated by males, but recent years have seen more and more women getting involved. In a study conducted in 1991, 699 100 men gambled, compared to about 349 500 women. In recent years, however, things have evened out with about half a million men and women both taking part in land-based gambling games and online casino activities.
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More women than men play the lottery, bingo and Instant Kiwi games. 80% of women compared to 70% of men play the lottery, 23% of women compared to 15% of men play bingo and 53% of women compared to 43% of men play Instant Kiwi games. However, men outnumber women when it comes to sports betting as 12% of males compared to 5% of women wager on sports. An equal portion of men and women take part in poker machines (18% each) and casino games (15% each).
Rates of problem gambling also vary among demographics. 34% of women are suspected to be problem gamblers, compared to 46% of men. Also, residents over the age of 40 are considered to be the most likely to develop unhealthy gambling habits, as 43% of players aged 40-49 are potential problem gamblers.
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