Let’s Choose to End Harmful Gambling – English version

Let’s Choose to End Harmful Gambling – English version

HE Code: 
Also available in: 
Leaflet DLE
Revision date: 
February 2019
Status: PDF available to download.
Information about what to do if you or someone you know has a gambling problem. Produced by the Health Promotion Agency.

Worried about someone's gambling? Don't leave it to chance.

Choice not chance - let's choose to end harmful gambling.

What are the signs of harm?

Any of these signs could point to an issue with your gambling:

  • Gambling to try and win back money you’ve lost
  • Spending more time or money gambling than planned
  • Making excuses or lying to cover up gambling
  • Feeling guilty or worried about gambling
  • Losing interest in friends, family or other activities.

One out of three regular pokie players are likely to be experiencing some level of harm

"We always talk about our wins, but never our losses."

Helping yourself

Talk to someone

Chances are your friends and family may already be concerned that there’s an issue – they may even wonder if it relates to gambling. Talking to them can help. Together with their support you may come up with ways to deal with the issue.

If you feel uncomfortable talking to your friends or family, call the friendly Gambling Helpline team for free – any time on 0800 654 655. Free local face-to-face counselling services are also available at ChoiceNotChance.org.nz/help


Remember that you’re not alone and the sooner you take action the easier it will be.

  • Be honest with yourself and others about the effect your gambling is having
  • Avoid going to places where you can gamble or consider excluding yourself from venues
  • If you still gamble, set a limit and leave bank cards at home
  • Get support from a free face-to-face counselling service in your area
  • Visit ChoiceNotChance.org.nz for more ideas.

“I eventually asked for help and I wasn’t judged. I’d encourage others to seek help early.”

Helping someone else

If you’re worried that someone’s gambling is harming them or others, it probably is. They may feel embarrassed and be unable to see a way out. Alternatively they may think it’s just a bit of fun and may not realise that its becoming harmful.

The sooner you tackle this together the better.

Ways you can help someone

  • Tell them what you’ve noticed about their behaviour and how it makes you feel
  • Listen. Let them know you care and that you’re there for them
  • Don’t lend them money. Make the offer to help them manage their money
  • Spend time with them and encourage other activities
  • Offer to contact the Gambling Helpline with them (0800 654 655) or get support from free face-to-face counselling services in your area.

“Do the whānau thing and look after each other.”

“ I was nervous about picking up the phone, but looking back I’m so happy I did.”

Help is free

Call the Gambling Helpline anytime on 0800 654 655

Text 8006

For self-help tools and free local face-to-face counselling services ChoiceNotChance.org.nz