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Pokies Tumble as Online Gambling Becomes the New Craze in New Zealand

Feb 1, 2012

Pokies are out, online blackjack is in
New Zealand

New Zealanders prefer to take their gambling money online instead of spending it on outdated land-based poker machines.

Blackjack casinos online in New Zealand are welcoming more and more players this winter, and for once it has nothing to do with any government in power. The signs show that there was a dramatic drop in land-based casino spending last year.

The people however, are not getting to tight-fisted when it comes to their cash. Nobody is skimping and saving for that rainy day. At least not in appearance. Instead, the former visitors of the land-based casinos have found a new addiction, online gambling sites in New Zealand. Or so it is rumored.

According to casino gambling news in New Zealand, online poker sites are the latest craze to hit New Zealand gamers, and with so much of their money being spent online, from the comfort of their own homes, the land-based casinos might well be feeling the drop in numbers.

Northland province gamers are rumored to have spent around $8,000,000 less last year (compared to 2010) on poker machines, which is a 24 percent drop.

In a knock on effect, the number of poker machines available to the loyal land-based casino gamers has dropped too, by an unlucky thirteen from 758 to 745 poker machines in that province alone.

There are unfortunately no statistics available to show that gamers are now migrating to online blackjack tournaments. Diane Matthews, who is a Problem Gaming Counsellor based in Whangarei, had the following to say: “People are getting a bit bored. Internet gambling is way more accessible, but the sad thing about that, is all the money goes overseas.”

Ms. Matthews doesn’t blame the drop in gambling income entirely on the online gaming industry, and feels that the recession also has played a part in the declining number of poker machine players. She also feels the longer it continues, the less people will be willing to gamble with what little they have left.

Despite online gambling rumored to be on the increase and fully legal, only five years earlier, an Internal Affairs department survey showed that fewer than 1 percent of the Northlands inhabitants ventured online to gamble.

It presents a confusing puzzle as to whether the number of internet users is really up, or whether perhaps the recession is keeping a few people indoors. One thing is certain: there are a lot of unhappy poker machine owners in the Northlands this year.


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