Consumers spend more on gambling than on museum attendance

In 2005, consumers spent 7.5 billion euro on recreational goods and services. The bulk was spent on all kinds of lotteries and casino attendance. A small portion was spent on museums and library fees.

7.5 billion euro for recreational goods and services

The Dutch population spent 7.5 billion euro on recreational goods, such as cinema and museum tickets, scratch tickets, library subscriptions and sports club membership fees in 2005. The corresponding amount for 1995 was only 3.5 billion euro.

Spending on recreational goods, 1995 and 2005 

Gambling games and performing arts

The largest amount was spent on lotteries, in casinos and other forms of gambling (2 billion euro, 27 percent of total recreational spending). The second largest amount was spent on performing arts, theatre tickets, pop festivals and fairs (1.8 billion euro, 25 percent). The smallest amount (0.9 billion euro, 12 percent) was spent on museum tickets and library membership fees.
The costs of library membership fees and zoo tickets increased most. Sports club memberships, operating costs of sports centres, swimming pool tickets, etc. did not increase as rapidly as the other costs.

Spending on recreational goods

Share spent on recreational goods increasing

In relative terms, the spending on recreational goods rose faster than total consumer spending. Indeed, the share of these goods in the total package of consumer goods and services rose from 2.2 percent in 1995 to 2.9 percent in 2005. Prices of recreational goods and services increased by the same proportion as the total package of consumer goods and services, hence the average Dutch consumer spent more money on recreational activities, particularly in the period 1995-2001, when Dutch economy was thriving. From 2002 onwards, the share of recreational spending in overall consumer spending in effect remains unchanged.

Share recreational goods in total consumption

Dagmar Nies and Leo Hiemstra