Take time out during Gambling Harm Awareness Week
Gambling is meant to be fun and social, but it can easily become a problem. Gambling harm can escalate quickly, damaging relationships, whānau, finances and hopes for the future.
It is important to recognise when gambling is no longer just for fun and may be starting to cause harm.
There are some things we can all do to change this situation. Evidence shows that spending time with a loved one and sharing rewarding activities together (like fishing or sharing kai) is a practical way to beat gambling harm.
Gambling Harm Awareness Week (2nd to 8th September 2019) is about:
- Raising awareness of gambling harm in Aotearoa; and
- Providing positive ways for people to take time out from gambling and put time into whānau, family, aiga and fāmili.
You can call 0800 654 655 or text to 8006 for 24-hour information and support if you are concerned about someone else’s gambling or wondering about your own gambling.
Pause the pokies initiative
The Problem Gambling Foundation, Mapu Maia and Asian Family Services are running an initiative called Pause the Pokies.
Pause the Pokies invites a venue to turn off its pokie machines for one hour during Gambling Harm Awareness Week.
Pause the Pokies gives venues an opportunity to stand in solidarity with individuals, families and the community and provides a platform to raise publicity around the issue of gambling harm. It is hoped that this small interuption will cause gamblers to pause, reflect and seek assistance from a local face-to-face support services.
Some facts about gambling and gambling harm in New Zealand
- Every day New Zealanders lose on average $6.4 million on gambling – that’s around $2.3 billion each year.
- Around $870 million is lost on pokie machines in pubs and clubs each year. Each machine takes on average $55,5655 out of its players’ pockets each year!
- It’s likely that 186,000 Kiwis are experiencing a level of gambling-related harm – the same as the population of Rotorua!
- People who bet on pokies, sport or racing at least monthly are most at risk of gambling harm – half pokie players and 1 in 4 sports or racing players experience a level of harm.
- Around 1 in 10 people who buy Lotteries Commission products at least monthly are likely to experience a level of harm.
- Māori, Pacific and Asian gamblers are disproportionally affected by gambling harm – up to 3 times more likely that NZ European/ Pakeha gamblers.
- Friends and whānau are commonly affected. 1 in 5 New Zealand adults have been affected at some time in their lives by their own gambling or the gambling of others.
Gambling harm can negatively impact finances, damage relationships, disrupt work and study, and lead to emotional and psychological distress.
Sources: Health Promotion Agency and Choice not Chance websites.Published on Thursday, August 8th, 2019, under Events