Thursday, May 30, 2024

Govt gambles on new harm minimisation strategy

The Government has today announced a significant investment aimed at preventing and minimising the harm caused by gambling.

“Gambling harm is a serious public health issue and can have a devastating effect on the wellbeing of individuals, whānau and communities. One in five New Zealanders will experience gambling harm in their lives, or know someone close who does,” said Health Minister, Andrew Little.

The government has announced a $76-million investment in a new Strategy to Prevent and Minimise Gambling Harm that will include:

  • Training pathways to enable a more skilled and diverse workforce, including more peer and cultural support workers;
  • New and expanded digital services and supports;
  • Education initiatives to reduce harm to rangatahi (young people);
  • A de-stigmatisation initiative to help change the conversation around gambling harm and encourage people to seek help;
  • Better support for vulnerable communities including Māori, Pacific, and Asian people.

“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,” Mr Little said.

“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,” said Internal Affairs Minister, Jan Tinetti.

The Strategy to Prevent and Minimise Gambling Harm was developed following public consultation in late 2021 and will ensure that services are co-designed with people with lived experience of gambling harm, service providers, community groups and industry bodies, Ms Tinetti said.

The Strategy to Prevent and Minimise Gambling Harm will be funded by a problem gambling levy paid by non-casino gaming machine operators, casinos, the TAB NZ and New Zealand Lotteries Commission.

Click to read the Strategy to Prevent and Minimise Gambling Harm 2022.

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