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New Zealand’s new strategy to combat gambling harm

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The New Zealand government has announced a NZ$76 million (US$47m) investment in programmes focused on reducing the potential harms of gambling.

While explaining the numerous challenges that gambling poses to society, especially to the younger people of New Zealand, Internal Affairs Minister Jan Tinetti noted that proper regulation is required to reduce gambling-related problems.

“Effective regulation of gambling means we can deal with harms including financial problems, relationship problems, family violence, and alcohol abuse. The new investment and strategy is about showing we’re serious about protecting New Zealand from these harms,” the minister explained.

“The strategy to prevent and minimise gambling harm was developed following public consultation in late 2021, and this will ensure that services are co-designed with people with lived experience of gambling harm, service providers, community groups and industry bodies.”

The strategy to minimise gambling harm will include:

  • Providing educational materials to help those with gambling problems, especially the young people in the country. 
  • Training of a more diverse workforce to reflect all cultural backgrounds. 
  • Using new technological tools to promote safe gambling.

Health minister Andrew Little noted that these programmes are aimed at preventing NZ citizens from finding themselves swamped by gambling-related problems.

“The new funding and strategy aligns our gambling harm prevention and minimisation efforts with the reforms to the health and disability system, and the new mental health system we’re building.” 

This initiative will be financed by a problem gambling levy paid by non-casino gaming machine operators, casinos, the TAB NZ and New Zealand Lotteries Commission.

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