NZ Government to invest US$47.9m in gambling harm initiatives

The strategy will be funded by the problem gambling levy.
The strategy will be funded by the problem gambling levy.

The government of New Zealand has announced a NZ$76m (US$47.9m) investment to prevent and minimise gambling harm.

New Zealand.- The Labour Government of New Zealand has announced a NZ$76m (US$47.9m) investment for a new strategy aimed at preventing and minimising gambling harm-related issues.

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

The project 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.

Andre Little, minister of health, said: “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.”

Jan Tinetti, minister of internal affairs, added: “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.”

Tinetti said the project was developed after a public consultation made in late 2021 and was co-designed with service providers, community groups, industry bodies and people with lived experience of gambling harm.

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