NZ Gambling Stats Under the Microscope

When it comes to gambling in New Zealand, there’s a big gap in the numbers between occasional players and serious gamblers. While a whopping 94% of New Zealanders over the age of 18 have participated in at least one kind of gambling activity in their lifetime, only around 40% gamble once a week or more. While gambling often isn’t for everyone, most people in New Zealand do it occasionally. 86% of New Zealanders reported having gambled at least once in the past six months.

Which Games Do They Choose?

The most popular form of gambling in New Zealand is the Lotto, by a long way. A full 86% of people have participated in it at least once in their lives, and 35% play at least once a week. The second most common form of gambling is betting on other forms of lottery and raffles, coming in at 76%.

Following this is instant Kiwi scratch cards, at 61%, betting on horse or dog racing, at 48%, and gaming machines outside of casinos, at 37%. In terms of frequency, the lotto is by far the most common gambling activity played once a week or more, but Telebingo and Instant Kiwi are played at least once a week by 6% of New Zealanders, and other kinds of lottery and raffles by 3% of New Zealanders. So there are just a few activities that clearly lead the game in terms of gambling in New Zealand – are we stuck in our ways, or do we just know what we like?

Breaking it Down

As its popularity indicates, both men and women love playing the Lotto. But there are some activities that show different interest in different types of games. Men bet on horse and dog races more frequently than women, and also bet more often with friends and played on gambling machines outside of casinos.

This makes them more frequent gamblers overall. There are slightly more interesting differences in terms of age. Young people (aged 18-24) use the Lotto, other lotteries and raffles and Telebingo less often than older people, but are more frequent participants in Instant Kiwi, money bets with friends, and gaming machines not in a casino.


Of those New Zealanders who do gamble fairly regularly, the average monthly expenditure is 41$. However, males spend a fair amount more than females, at 53$ in comparison to 30$. Young people aged 18-24 and senior citizens aged over 65, spend much less than the ages in between, at 30$ and 31$ respectively. This is not at all surprising if you think about the spending power of those age groups compared to others. In addition, people who are employed spend on average a lot more on gambling at betting online NZ sites per month than those who are not, at 46$ and 30$ respectively. The age group with the highest monthly expenditure was those between 45-54, who spend 58$ a month. So New Zealanders seem to be making fairly good choices about gambling when it comes to what they can afford.

Whether you are a frequent gambler or occasional player, whether your bets are big or small and whatever game is your go-to, it is clear that gambling is one of New Zealand’s favourite pastimes.

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