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Problem Gambling in New Zealand

There is no dispute that problem gambling is a serious issue in New Zealand which justifies considerable investment. Every three years the Gambling Commission is charged with recommending a problem gambling levy that will recover the cost of developing, managing and delivering an integrated problem gambling strategy. In the 2010 to 2013 period the budget was set at $55,422,607. Such a significant sum would not be allocated to address problem gambling in New Zealand if the issue did not remain a real concern.

The 2012 New Zealand Health Survey found that 0.3% of people aged 15 and over were problem gamblers (10,554 individuals) and 1.0% of people aged 15 and over were engaging in moderate-risk gambling (35,182 individuals).

Although declining, the rate of presentations to treatment providers from people who cite gaming machines as their primary mode of gambling remains high. For the 2010/2011 financial year 54.53% of new clients who sought help cited non-casino gaming machines as their primary gambling mode. A further 8.33% cited casino gaming machines, making the gaming machine total 62.86%. This information is detailed on the Ministry of Health's website.

The 2012 New Zealand Health Survey also found that about one in 40 people (89,000 people) are negatively affected by other people's gambling.