Minimising gambling harm this World Gamble Free Day
Gambling is meant to be fun and social, but it can easily become a problem.
It is important to recognise when gambling is no longer just for fun and may be starting to cause harm.
While many people gamble safely, a significant number of people are still being harmed by their own or someone else’s gambling.
There are some things we can all do to change this situation, particularly on World Gamble Free Day (1st September).
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.
Learn about the early signs of harmful gambling and take a quiz to find out if your gambling is becoming risky.
Some facts about gambling in New Zealand
- Every minute of every day New Zealanders lose on average $4,100 on gambling – that’s $5.5 million each day, and around $2 billion each year.
- Half of all money lost gambling is on pokie machines. Each machine takes $125 out of its players’ pockets every day!
- It is estimated that approximately 54,000 people in New Zealand are gambling at pretty harmful levels. Almost 110,000 people are also experiencing some low levels of harm and would be potentially at risk of further problems in the future.
- There is one pokie machine for every 211 people in New Zealand, and this increases to one machine for every 75 people in poorer areas!
- It is estimated that between five and ten people are negatively affected by the behaviour of one serious problem gambler. That’s over 130,000 people – the same as the population of Tauranga!
- Māori and Pacific adults are more than three and a half times more likely to be problem gamblers.
- Two out of five regular pokie players is likely to have a gambling problem.
The social costs of gambling are out of proportion to the numbers of problem gamblers. Gamblers may commit crimes to finance their gambling, causing harm to their victims and their families as well as themselves, and incurring costs in the criminal justice sector.
Sources: Health Promotion Agency and Choice not Chance websites.Published on Monday, August 1st, 2016, under Uncategorised