New Zealand: Slot machine sales explode

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern approached the pandemic with a refreshing mix of media care and tough determination. Like many other countries, New Zealand had therefore closed land-based amusement arcades and casinos for several weeks as part of a nationwide lockdown. Ultimately, New Zealand managed to keep the number of infections to an absolute minimum.

New Zealand: Slot machine sales explode

In total, only just under 2,000 people have been infected with the virus so far. For this reason, the measures were relaxed several months ago. These days, New Zealand’s Home Office announced that stationary slot machine sales have increased an impressive 116% since the restrictions were lifted. Does this increase in sales also affect the number of gamblers at risk and can a similar development be expected in Germany after the opening of the arcades and casinos? There are around 18,100 kilometers between the German capital Berlin and New Zealand. Of course, the geographically isolated island state in the southern Pacific, with around 4.7 million inhabitants, was not spared the consequences of the global pandemic. After stationary gaming sales fell drastically in the second quarter due to the lockdown, the arcade operators were able to look forward to a high sales increase of 116% in the third quarter. Look at the Best New Zealand Online Casinos and choose one of them.

New Zealand arcade sales are recovering

After the lockdown, which lasted several weeks, could finally be ended and, among other things, the amusement arcades were allowed to reopen, a positive sales development was expected in advance. The numbers that have now been published, however, were even more impressive than initially assumed. The New Zealand Ministry of the Interior announced these days that the earnings of the so-called pokies had risen to a little more than 130 million New Zealand dollars (NZD) in the third quarter of 2020. That’s about 76.5 million euros. The income was thus higher than that of the comparable quarters in the past five years. According to the authorities in New Zealand, the main reason for the positive development is the fact that land-based gambling establishments are finally able to welcome guests again.

Gambling in New Zealand under fire

Similar to Germany, there are some critical voices regarding gambling in distant New Zealand. For some time now, a stricter limitation of so-called Pokie licenses has been discussed in the region around the capital Wellington. In addition, there are plans to not allow new slot machines in places where arcade operators close.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern

It is not only in New Zealand that there is disagreement about whether the ongoing pandemic situation has a negative impact on people who are potentially at risk of gambling addiction. At the moment, it is not yet possible to estimate what traces the pandemic will leave behind in future gaming behavior.


After the New Zealand population had to do without stationary slot machines for several weeks, it has been possible to play largely without restrictions for some time. The income from July to September 2020 was significantly higher than in the comparable quarters of previous years. More precisely, since the lockdown measures ended, sales have increased by 116%. Unfortunately, there are no surveys as yet of the extent to which such lockdown measures influence people at risk of gambling in their actions. What is certain, however, is that at least in this country, sales in land-based gambling halls are likely to be significantly below the previous year’s level due to the multiple closings lasting several weeks. Beneficiaries could be the numerous online game libraries, which of course were not closed during the lockdown.

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