The Intersection of Gambling Expenditure and Social Welfare in New Zealand

Gambling Expenditure and social welfare justice in New Zealand
Last Updated on | by Amanda Wilson

Gambling is primarily known as risky entertainment that has been popular for centuries. However, in the modern world, this is a way to significantly replenish the state budget thanks to taxes from the industry. Casinos are legal in New Zealand, but there is a caveat: country-based platforms are prohibited if we discuss online establishments. However, foreign operators are free to enter the market; local laws permit and regulate their activities.

Taxes from gambling significantly influence the overall country’s well-being – since the industry is legal and regulated, it attracts a lot of customers, both from the country and abroad. Moreover, the sector continues expanding, so experts predict it will bring even more income in the future.

Risky activities bring both positive and negative impacts: first, they can boost the country’s welfare due to the taxes received by the NZ government. On the other hand, this entertainment can affect vulnerable populations. Online casinos are addictive, and not every player can develop self-control. Therefore, it’s important to investigate all the aspects to evaluate the impact of gambling on society.

New Zealand’s Gambling Industry: Facts and Statistics

Assessing the gambling sector implies complex measures involving multiple criteria. It’s undeniable that the industry is evolving: a significant technological boom boosts the process. If before only a limited number of risk fans could access casinos and bookmakers, now users can start gambling wherever they are. Higher accessibility of gaming websites and sportsbooks increased the demand for entertainment. Let’s see more statistics for further evaluation.

  • The Overall Gambling Expenditure in New Zealand

    Figures don’t lie – the gambling sector in New Zealand continues growing yearly, and statistics are really shocking. The industry revenue in the country reached $970 million in 2022 – and half of the income was from online casinos. The estimated takings from this sector in 2023 is about $1.12 billion, which is projected to grow even more by 2027.

  • The Economic Impact of Gambling Expenditure on the Industry and Economy

    Casinos and bookmakers bring significant profits to the country’s budget. However, it only works if a platform operates legally. Therefore, the NZ government implements strict control over the industry. Such an approach allows it to receive more revenue and eliminate illegal activities and scammers. The NZ Gambling Act implies that those breaking the law are forced to pay off up to $50,000. It’s worth noting that the rule concerns both operators and users – the law is equal for all parties.

  • The NZ government encourages potential players and punters to choose licensed gaming platforms and gamble legally. Therefore, the expenditures will be partially returned to the country’s budget in the form of taxes. Such a policy allows an increase in social welfare for those in need.

  • The Department of Internal Affairs: Gambling Expenditure Trends

    The Department of International Affairs provides annual research, gathering all the gambling statistics within the country. The activity tends to grow quarterly: for instance, the Gaming Machines Profits for September 2022 reached $276,301,503, which is the largest indicator witnessed during 2017-2022.

  • Although we still don’t have clear 2023 statistics as the year is not over, it’s anticipated the casino income will increase even more. Therefore, the sector will bring more revenue to the government’s budget – it’s anticipated the figure will reach $1 billion by the end of 2023.

  • Gamblers Demographic in New Zealand

    Research shows that over 80% of adult Kiwis have gambled at least once in their life. Even though casinos, betting, and lotteries are prohibited for people under 18 years, the underage still find ways to access risky websites and participate in gaming activities. Therefore, the government and regulatory authorities introduce more sophisticated user verification systems to prevent people under 18 from visiting virtual gambling establishments.

Social Welfare Considerations

Social welfare is one of the main factors demonstrating the general population’s living standards. The main criteria for evaluating it include family unit, income level, and ability to access everything necessary for well-being. Those in need can count on additional assistance from the NZ government.

The Ministry of Social Development provides financial help in the following categories: jobseeker support, sole parent support, youth payment, young parent payment, state housing, and disability allowance. Moreover, students can receive a loan covering their education costs. The Welfare Justice Group is one of the bodies regulating this issue in New Zealand.

Anyone in need can apply for the program and get assistance as soon as possible. A group of respected academics and community leaders created the service to increase the general population’s well-being. Moreover, those who don’t need any support but would like to provide it themselves can become welfare guardians and improve the world.

Social Welfare for Maintaining a Balanced and Healthy Society

Welfare refers to the well-being of each individual and the community as a whole. Therefore, guaranteeing every country resident has everything they need for living is mandatory for governments. This primarily implies covering a person’s basic needs like food, accommodation, a safe environment, and so on. NZ implements multiple tools to increase the overall standard of living. However, its government often lacks financial support to cover everything. Growing the budget via gambling taxes is critical, as the industry boasts huge profits.

Funding for Social Programs

It may not be evident, but the gambling sector brings benefits even to those who’ve never entered a casino. Taxes can form a perfect basis for funding specialised programs, as the industry revenue can form additional reserves for supporting social welfare.

Responsible Gambling Measures

Promoting a responsible approach to online casinos, lotteries, and betting activities is one of the key points all industry players should consider. Since gambling is allowed and more accessible than ever, users often abuse this availability. This leads to increased addiction levels, negatively impacting the overall society’s well-being.

According to statistics, around 0.4% of the population suffers from this disorder, which is a relatively low indicator. Moreover, 1.3% of gamblers are at risk of gambling addiction development.

This issue should be addressed immediately: it’s a global challenge that concerns New Zealand and many other countries. Many would say restricting access to gambling activities and completely banning casinos and sportsbooks will become a perfect solution.

However, passionate players still find ways to enjoy their favourite entertainment, leading to underground offline gaming houses or illegal virtual casinos. In such an instance, the government won’t receive additional income; this will negatively affect social welfare.

Therefore, implementing appropriate measures to comply with responsible gambling principles is mandatory for every casino or bookie operating within the country. Informing players of the possible negative consequences, limiting the time on the website, and launching self-exclusion programs are the working tools that will help decrease the number of affected individuals without harming the country’s budget.

The Final Word

The interaction between the gambling industry and social welfare may not be evident, but there’s a direct correlation. The quick development of this sector significantly influences the overall Kiwis’ well-being, providing the state budget with additional revenue. The latter can be used for increased social welfare for vulnerable populations lacking money to cover their basic needs.

It may seem that the NZ government encourages people to engage in online gambling and betting, which is far from the case. The industry is legalised and regulated, but appropriate mechanisms for players’ awareness of all consequences are implemented. Therefore, the country provides all the necessary tools for compliance with responsible gambling principles. Moreover, all casinos in the region, both virtual and land-based, are only legal if licensed.

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