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Services › Casino and Non-Casino Gaming › Problem Gambling
- About problem gambling
- Measures to limit problem gambling
- Regulatory agency roles
- Problem gambling awareness training
- Support services for problem gamblers
- Signage for pubs, clubs and casinos
- Research and other useful resources
About problem gamblingProblem gambling is gambling that causes or may cause harm to the individual, his or her family, or the wider community.
Problem gambling is most commonly associated with gaming machines. Approximately one in five regular gamblers on gaming machines experience problem gambling at some point in their lives.
Sometimes the harm may result from just one gambling session. In other cases, it might be the result of regular gambling sessions over a period of time and involving substantial amounts of money.
The harmful effects of problem gambling can include:
- Financial problems
- Problems at work (ranging from poor performance to fraud)
- Poor parenting and other relationship problems
- Family violence
- Alcohol abuse
- Mental health problems.
Measures to limit problem gamblingA key purpose of the Gambling Act 2003 is controlling the growth of gambling, and preventing and minimising the harm caused by gambling.
To achieve this, the Gambling (Harm Prevention and Minimisation) Regulations 2004 introduced a range of measures including:
- Restrictions on venues suitable for operating gaming machines
- No automated teller machines (ATMs) allowed in the gambling area of a venue
- Maximum stake and prize limits for gaming machines
- A feature on each gaming machine which interrupts play at intervals of not more than 30 minutes of continuous play (the messages display information about the duration of play, amount of money spent and net wins or losses)
- Restrictions on jackpot branding and advertising
- Requirement to give venue staff problem gambling awareness training
- Requirement to make information about problem gambling available to patrons
- Ability for venue staff to issue exclusion orders to patrons
Regulatory agency rolesThe Department of Internal Affairs administers the gambling legislation (the Gambling Act 2003), licences gambling activities (except for casino gambling) and provides public information and education on gambling harm prevention and minimisation.
The Ministry of Health is responsible for funding and coordinating problem gambling services. View the Ministry’s problem gambling web page.
Problem gambling awareness trainingThe Department helps operators by providing information about problem gambling awareness training for staff and harm prevention and minimisation requirements under the Gambling Act 2003.
If you are an operator who requires information please contact the Gambling Compliance Group.
Internal Guidelines for Harm Prevention, Harm Minimisation and Responsible Gambling.
Support services for problem gamblers
Self Exclusion OrdersIf you think you, or someone you know, may have a gambling problem you may like to consider self-excluding (or talking to your relative / friend about self-excluding) from a gambling venue(s).
Self-exclusion means that if a patron identifies him or herself as a problem gambler they can ask a gambling venue(s) to exclude them from the gambling area of the venue(s) for a period of up to two years.
Support Services for Problem GamblersIf you think you or someone you know may have a gambling problem, talking to someone can help. Gambling Helpline
National 24 hour freephone support service for people with gambling problems in Aotearoa New Zealand
Freephone: 0800 654 655
Fax: + 64 9 909 8775
Gambling Helpline also runs specialist lines:
- Maori Gambling Helpline: 0800 654 656
- Vai Lelei Pasifika Gambling Helpline: 0800 654 657
- Youth Gambling Helpline In Ya Face: 0800 654 659
- Gambling Debt Helpline: 0800 654 658
You can send an anonymous free text to 8006, and immediately receive an automated response to confirm the Gambling Helpline has received the text, which also contains the free phone number. A counsellor will then send a personalised response, encouraging the texter to phone for help or to provide details so that an information pack can be sent.
Problem Gambling Foundation
Counselling free of charge to the gambler, their family and others affected by problem gambling.
Freephone: 0800 664 262
Asian Hotline: 0800 862 342
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org (urgent help for a problem)
Email: email@example.com (general enquiries or requests for information)
In main centres:
- Auckland: +64 9 368 1520
- Hamilton: +64 7 834 0014
- Wellington: +64 4 473 4360
- Christchurch: +64 3 379 2824
Free consultation and rehabilitation programmes for problem gamblers, partners of gamblers and affected family members.
In main centres:
- Auckland: +64 9 846 0660
- Hamilton: +64 7 839 7053
- Tauranga: +64 7 578 4264
- Wellington: +64 4 389 6566
- Christchurch: +64 3 365 9659
- Queenstown: +64 3 442 5103
- Dunedin: +64 3 477 9852
Signage for pubs, clubs and casinosAll pubs and clubs with gaming machines and casinos must have problem gambling pamphlets and signs in their venues from 1 April 2005.
Regulation 11 of the Gambling (Harm Prevention and Minimisation) Regulations 2004 requires this information to be displayed and available to players.
The Department has developed a pamphlet and a poster to help gambling operators meet these requirements.
Operators can design their own pamphlets and posters using information contained in the pamphlet and poster (below) as a template or they can print the pamphlet and poster from these links:
12 Armidale Street
Phone: + 64 4 568 2552
Research and other useful resources
- Key facts based on research and other data: Problem Gambling in New Zealand - A Brief Summary (6 October 2008)
- AUT problem gambling conference presentation about ensuring that gambling operators maintain an appropriate focus on the safety requirements of the Gambling Act 2003: International Gambling Conference - The Regulators' Challenge: Looking Forward (22 February 2008) (PPT, 100K)**
- Internal Guidelines for Harm Prevention, Harm Minimisation and Responsible Gambling
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