Responsible gambling New Zealand

Engaging in casino games ignites a spark of joy in the hearts of many Kiwis, offering them a thrilling source of amusement. However, a shadow lingers, as for a handful, this jovial pastime can morph into an unwavering addiction. Cast your mind into the past, to 1992, when our provincial government reaped a staggering NZ$3.82 billion, operating lotteries, pokie machines, casinos, and other non-casino slots. Fast forward to sixteen years, and you won't believe your eyes, that figure had catapulted to a mind-numbing NZ$19.15 billion. Today, as you read this, it's safe to say that figure that once had us gasping for breath has soared even higher. Now, hold on to your seatbelt, because the journey's not over yet. When you hurl into the mix the astronomical amount of revenue being pocketed by offshore online casino companies (with many steering their operations from a remote reserve outside of the bustling city of Tauranga in New Zealand), the total sum becomes truly earth-shattering. This is the thrilling yet daunting reality of our time.

While the allure of a flutter can certainly bring about a rush of exhilaration for many, there are instances where it can morph into an obsessive conduct that may leave lasting impacts on an individual's financial security, mental wellness, and overall quality of life. In New Zealand, if you're beginning to sense the ripple effects of your betting habits in the form of strained relationships, financial jitters, challenges carving out mind space for other aspects of life or any other distressing issues, this is your cue to seek the support you need. Gambling, in healthy doses, can be an enjoyable pastime. However, there's a darker side lurking beyond the flashing lights and thrill of winning. For some Kiwis, it can escalate into a compulsion that not only drains their savings but can also trigger emotional turmoil. Thus, if you or someone you know is showing signs of problematic gambling behaviours, it's crucial not to ignore these signals. Don't let it reach a stage where the negatives outweigh the fun - reach out, ask for help, and regain control over your life. It’s never too late to turn things around!

Dr. Weiner

Dr Weiner, esteemed and fully accredited psychologist, passionately dedicates himself to the treatment of addiction. He proudly leads the team at Linden Oaks Behavioural Health, located in Naperville, IL, as the Director of Addiction Services. With a heart full of compassion, Dr Weiner utilises his specialised skills to change the lives of many, echoing his dedication across the wonderful landscapes of New Zealand.

Photo of expert Dr Weiner

If you've noticed that you're slipping into detrimental habits, or if you're worried about a mate or family member who might be, it's crucial to recognise the symptoms. Empower yourself by taking steps to regain ownership of your actions, using our comprehensive guide to responsible betting in New Zealand.

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What does problem gambling mean?

An individual with a gambling problem isn't simply someone who's experienced a string of unfortunate losses. Likewise, someone who's ridden a wave of fortune, amassing a significant sum of money, isn't immune to problem gambling. Indeed, problem gambling is not about the rallying victories or the crushing defeats. Rather, it's a mental health concern that delves much deeper than the surface level of wins and losses. This issue is as unpredictable as the roll of the dice, sweeping you up in its whirlwind of emotion and potentially leaving you with an overwhelming sense of despair or euphoria. It's a challenge, a struggle that many New Zealanders face daily, hidden behind the glitz and glamour of the casino lights or the solitary glow of an online game. It's crucial to remember that whether the dice lands in your favour or not, problem gambling is a battle that needs to be addressed, ultimately requiring more than just luck to overcome.

The clawing grip of problem gambling can throw one's life into disarray. When the odds take control, they begin to consume your every waking moment. This unyielding obsession with the roll of the dice or the spin of a wheel can start pushing out the crucial elements of your life - your career, your education, or your vibrant social interactions. The consequences can run deep and personal, straining the bonds of love and companionship in your marriage or romantic relationship. It can also lay siege to your hard-built reputation, leaving its mark on the way others see you. In the worst cases, it even threatens to unravel the tight-knit fabric of family and friendships, leading to painful rifts and disagreements.

The destructive grip of problem gambling can obscure the beautiful hues of life. For the troubled gambler in New Zealand, the glimmering allure of chips, dice, and the hypnotic spin of slot wheels takes centre stage, casting an overwhelming shadow over truly important facets of life. These essential elements, starved of the attention and care they genuinely deserve, begin to wane, and gradually lose their lustre as they're shunted into the gloomy backdrop.

The ebbs and flows of victories and defeats in gambling can stir up quite a storm in the temperament of someone battling a gambling problem, which can in turn lead to them losing their job and disagreements cropping up among their friends and family in good old New Zealand. Picture the heartbeat of a desperate gambler, the highs far too high, the lows devastatingly low. Imagine then, that the financial losses these Kiwi problem gamblers suffer from are so significant that they risk losing not only their trusted old ute or the comfy family home, but also the financial safety net they've worked so hard to build. And the heartbreaking final blow? Their marital bliss could crumble to dust right before their eyes.

Analyzing problem gambling through statistics

From the heart of a recent report on issues surrounding problem gambling, we learn that roughly 3% of New Zealand's adult population grapple with problem gambling, a haunting reality that ranges from moderate to severe cases. The report goes on to divulge that a staggering approximately 70% of New Zealand's adults have dabbled in gambling, setting a somewhat alarming precedence in our beautiful Kiwi nation.

In order to grasp those figures in our context, picture this: According to Stats NZ, there are approximately 26.6 million Kiwis who have stepped beyond their 20th birthday (the age at which one can legally roll the dice varies between the tender years of 18 and 19, contingent on the region of residence. And for purposes of statistics, Stats NZ tends to group 15-19-year-olds together in one demographic snapshot. To avoid confusion, we'll stick with the age of 20 as our point of reference). If we consider that 70% of New Zealand's grown-ups have taken a spin at the betting wheel, we’re in effect talking about a staggering 18.6 million Kiwis. Now here's the kicker: If 3% of those thrill-seekers run into the snagging issues of problem gambling, it equates to approximately 500,000 souls bobbing in turbulent waters. That, my friends, vividly underscores the magnitude of the issue at hand.

Does this suggest that half a million Kiwis struggle with gambling? Far from it. The term 'impacted by problem gambling' encompasses folks who haven't even laid a bet. That's because the ripple effects of gambling extend beyond the individual chancing their luck; it sends shockwaves through their circle of mates, whānau, and work colleagues. In essence, one person wrestling with a gambling issue can touch the lives of two, three, five, possibly even 10 others, who might only very occasionally gamble, or perhaps not at all.

Indications of problematic gambling behavior

There's nothing amiss with enjoying a night at the casino. Whether it's Skycity Casino in Auckland, Christchurch Casino, or another land-based venue sprinkled across our beautiful country, or perhaps an online casino, partaking in a little gambling can add a dash of excitement to life. However, if you're struggling to tear yourself away from the dazzling lights of the gaming floor or the magnetic pull of an online casino, this warrants a bit of concern.

It could be an issue of gambling addiction if you:

  • Ceased an activity you once found pleasure in, solely to pursue gambling instead.
  • Persistently arrive tardy for school or employment due to gambling habits.
  • Skip bill payments, whether due to forgetfulness or after exhausting your budget at the gambling house.
  • Shun personal duties or familial responsibilities as you prefer to indulge in gambling.
  • Cease attending to your children to concentrate on betting.
  • Devote more energy to coordinating office sports and lottery groups, rather than concentrating on your actual tasks.
  • Engage in internet casino games while at work, not only during your lunch break.
  • Pull away from loved ones and acquaintances, avoiding social interactions as you prefer to see cards fall on the table.
  • Experience inexplicable changes in temperament.
  • Persistently feel uninterested unless engaged in betting.

Alternatives for individuals struggling with gambling issues

If you're wrestling with the tricky beast that is a gambling issue, you'll surprisingly find that Internet casinos can offer far more assistance than their physical counterparts here in New Zealand. You see, apart from a hardly noticeable responsible gambling hub floating around just outside the entrance, our local bricks-and-mortar casinos often fall short on their duty of care to problem gamblers. They have these systems, supposedly foolproof, where you place your name and mugshot on a list, and they supposedly stop you at the door. However, whispers have it that these systems aren't quite up to snuff.

Should you discover that the allure of the pokies is simply too strong, be it at your local club or on a virtual platform, it's critical to take a step back and evaluate. An irresistible compulsion to engage in gaming activities, even when it's affecting your well-being, is a sign you need to pause and reflect. It's important to stay informed about the latest bonus offers but always remember to game responsibly. Stay in tune with local New Zealand regulations, currency usage, and any relevant government agency guidelines on gaming. Remember, your well-being is paramount.

In the digital world of online casinos, there's a silver lining for those grappling with problem gambling, thanks to the power of technology. When you're immersed in the thrilling environment of a Kiwi online casino, remember, there's a myriad of resources at your disposal to help manage problem gambling. The beauty of these platforms is that they're not just a place to play, but also a haven of support for those who may be wrestling with the love of the game. So worry not, for in the land of the long white cloud, you're never alone in your journey to responsible gaming. Furthermore, thanks to the frequently updated bonuses, you can enjoy more plays while keeping your finances in check.

  • Struggling with Gambling Addiction? An application exists to aid. New Zealand gamblers who suspect they may have a gambling issue previously had only the option of making a call and verbally addressing their concerns. However, now they have the facility to utilize their mobile device without uttering a single word.

    The Monitor Your Gambling & Urges smartphone application is a new tool designed to assist individuals who suspect they have a gambling issue, specifically tailored for New Zealand online casino patrons. This app equips anyone, even those not struggling with gambling addiction, with the ability to track and control their gambling impulses directly from their mobile device. It is accessible for users of iPhone, BlackBerry, and Android devices.

    The application documents details such as when a casino enthusiast felt the impulse to bet, the catalysts for this desire, the alternative actions that the individual with a gambling issue executed instead of betting, emotions if the individual did or refrained from betting, as well as the outcomes of their decision to indulge in or abstain from gambling.

    The issue gambling software simultaneously monitors victories and defeats, enabling problem gamblers convinced they have an issue with online casino gambling to analyze their records and implement required actions. Succinctly, it's an excellent self-aid mechanism for those struggling with gambling issues.
  • Eliminate wagering platforms Gamblock and Bet Filter represent a pair of applications designed for individuals grappling with gambling issues, helping to block their access to online sites such as poker rooms and digital casinos. The effectiveness of their straightforward installation process is commendable. Nonetheless, it's crucial to consider that if multiple members of your household are engaged in gambling, and the majority do so responsibly, the filtering solutions provided by these casino software may not be the most suitable remedy for problem gamblers and their kin.
  • Decrease your daily, weekly, and monthly allowances. A great number of internet casinos have integrated deposit restrictions, beneficial for individuals struggling with problem gambling as well as those unaffected. Often, operators keep daily contributions to a certain amount for newcomers, implementing weekly and monthly caps as well. As the rapport with players develops, these ceilings generally increase. However, it's actually possible to request the virtual casino to downscale your restrictions. A number of casinos allow you to predetermine your betting thresholds based on your deposits, whilst others empower you to establish daily and maximum wagering limits. If the online casino of your choice doesn't provision limit-setting capabilities in its software for problem gamblers, merely reach out to their customer care and express your desire to reduce your limits.
  • Inform your internet gaming platform about your issue. Believe you're facing a gambling issue? Reach out to your virtual casino's customer service. You can request them to temporarily suspend your account. This could be for one day. Perhaps a week. Possibly a month. The decision is entirely in your hands.

The gambler's fallacy

Ever sat by a Kiwi punter at a casino confidently declaring that a win must surely be on the horizon, following a run of bad luck? Or perhaps, you've found yourself by the roulette wheel, the ball seemingly conspiring against you, whispering to yourself that fortune has got to swing your way soon. Maybe, just maybe, you've uttered these words yourself.

In the magical and sometimes mystifying world of chance, there's a notion that the seemingly unpredictable outcomes can somehow morph into more foreseeable results based on past events, whether these were realized or not. This captivating concept, dear readers, is known endearingly as the gambler's fallacy - a slice of Kiwi folklore as rich as a classic pavlova.

Imagine this: You've been loyally staking your dollars on black while rolling the roulette wheel, yet the hand of fate has painted the wheel red seven times consecutively. As a person grappling with a gambling addiction, you might find yourself entranced by the idea that a hefty wager on black is your ticket to redemption. It's high time Lady Luck smiled upon you, right? Unfortunately, this line of thought is misguided. The roulette wheel does not hold any grudges or favours, your chances of landing on black are just as likely as those of gesturing towards red. The past seven red outcomes do nothing to shift the balance, the nature of the game is inherently random. Adopting such a distorted belief is a common trap many gamblers unwittingly fall into. Yet, in truth, the gambler's fallacy is just that—a fallacy.

The thrill that sometimes accompanies a flutter can undeniably add a dash of spice to your gaming antics. Yet, if you find yourself persistently in the grasp of online pokies, gambling high stakes in the fervent anticipation of a pendulum swing back into good luck, the unwelcome shadow of a gambling issue may be creeping into your life.

Seeking assistance for your gambling issue

If you're grappling with the thought that you may be wrestling with a gambling issue, or perhaps, you're aware of someone close to you who's struggling, it's absolutely vital to know that you're not alone - professional assistance is readily available through a myriad of New Zealand regional and national bodies. These organisations extend a lifeline of support, guiding you through the storm in your darkest hours, shining a beacon of light onto a path of recovery.

The New Zealand Drug Foundation is an excellent starting point. Keep in mind, for some, the pull of the pokies can be as gripping as a narcotic. This national foundation, dedicated to combating addiction, can guide you onto a path of recovery. You can reach them at Don't forget, it's a slippery slope – gambling can turn from a harmless flutter to a damaging addiction, just like drugs.

For those grappling with the torment of gambling issues, Gamblers Anonymous presents a phenomenal sanctuary where you can share and wrestle with your predicaments. You're encouraged to explore more about this incredible service at, where a empathetic community awaits to lend you an ear and a helping hand in your battle against problem gambling.

Head over to – it's a treasure trove for every gaming enthusiast out there in beautiful Aotearoa (New Zealand). Delve into heaps of insight at, where you'll unravel all the mysteries about your cherished games. And remember, if the joy of gaming dims and you sense the eerie shadow of a gambling issue, support is just a click away. This is not merely a platform – think of it as a supportive mate, standing by your side through thick and thin.

Anguished by the clutches of gambling addiction? New Zealand is here to lend a helping hand with a myriad of local support centres, dedicated to aiding those grappling with this crisis. For instance, the kiwi equivalent of the Problem Gambling Helpline, nestled in Wellington, opens its virtual doors for all of our fellow countrymen and women. You can reach out to them at 0800 654 655, [email protected], or toll-free on 0800 664 262. Hold on, help is just a call away!

Hey there, good folks of Tauranga! If you or someone you love needs a lending hand navigating through gambling struggles, Gamblers Anonymous Tauranga is just a call away. Just pick up your phone and dial (213)386-8789 or if you're in Tauranga, ring us up at (514)484-6666. There's no need to go through this alone, we're here, just a call away. We usually gather in the comforting embrace of Our Lady of Fatima Church, nestled at 875 Marcil Laurin, St-Laurent, Tauranga. Come join us, we're all in this together!

We wholeheartedly suggest immersing yourself in these educational materials, whether you identify as having a gaming issue or not. They provide truly golden nuggets of wisdom about responsible gaming, enabling you to experience the thrill of online casino games just as they were intended to be savoured. So, go ahead and let the roulette wheel of knowledge spin, soaking up insightful tips that allow you to caper around the digital platforms in a manner that respects each flutter of the heart as you engage in this captivating pastime.