About 80 percent of adult New Zealanders gambled in the past year -- nearly half of them at a level loved ones thought was harmful, a new survey has found.
It also revealed that most people thought raising money from gambling did more harm than good.
Associate Health Minister Damien O'Connor released the 2006/07 Gambling and Betting Activities Survey today. The Health Sponsorship Council (HSC) report -- with research done by the National Research Bureau -- was part of the Health Ministry's response to problem gambling.
Nearly 2000 people were surveyed. Key findings were that over the past 12 months:
- Around four out of five New Zealanders engaged in some form of gambling;
- 35 percent of people said someone close to them had gambled at a harmful level;
- 16 percent said someone in their family or household had had to go without or bills were not paid, because too much was spent on gambling;
- 16 percent had family arguments about gambling;
- 9 percent spent more time or money gambling than they meant to.
Findings on attitudes to gambling included:
- 86 percent thought that some types of gambling attracted people to gamble more than they should and of those most thought pokie machines were more harmful than other types;
- 51 percent said that raising money for the community from gambling does more harm than good, 28 percent said it does more good than harm and 19 percent said it does equal harm and good;
- 67 percent thought they knew what the signs of harmful gambling were for individuals, 90 percent said they knew how it affected households, and 61 percent said they knew how harmful gambling affected the community;
- Of those people who knew the signs, most mentioned financial problems and debt, not paying household bills and expenses, crime and being obsessed with or addicted to gambling;
- Awareness of services to help people with gambling problems was relatively high. However, of the 64 percent of people who said they could name an organisation they could direct someone to only 52 percent of people would be comfortable referring friends/family to help services;
- Most people thought advertising encouraged more gambling and 89 percent thought the timing and type of advertising of gambling activities should be limited.
Mr O'Connor said the research was important for future strategies and programmes.
He said the Health Ministry had significantly revised the problem gambling services delivery framework and had introduced a new model for problem gambling services based on experience during the 2004-07 problem gambling levy period.
"The new model provides a more equitable basis on which to apply problem gambling levy funding, as well as providing improved service coverage," he said.
"An important feature of the new approach is an innovative monitoring and evaluation framework that focuses on the outcomes that problem gambling services achieve. The framework provides assurance of the quality and effectiveness of problem gambling services."
Mr O'Connor said the government was committed to providing quality services for problem gamblers and communities.
source: newshub archive