The real cost of Class 4 gambling in New Zealand
PGF Group and The Salvation Army recently commissioned the New Zealand Institute of Economic Research (NZIER) to investigate what the potential effects on the retail sector might be if consumers did not engage in Class 4 gambling (pokies in pubs, clubs and TABs).
With the retail and hospitality sector still hurting from the COVID-19 lockdown, it is time to acknowledge that Class 4 gambling not only has a significant social cost, but is also a drain on the wider economy.
Over $939 million was lost on pokies in pubs, clubs and TABs in 2019, coming from some of the most deprived communities in New Zealand. With losses on pokie machines trending upwards year by year, this report shows how the economy could benefit from diverting those gambling losses into spending elsewhere in local communities.