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: 
July 2014
Status: This resource is online only.
Information about what to do if you or someone you know has a gambling problem. Produced by the Health Promotion Agency.

If you're worried about someone's gambling, choose to read this. Don't leave it to chance.

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

Two out of five regular pokie players are likely to have a gambling problem.

What to look for

Any of these things could point to a problem:

  • Spending more time or money gambling than planned
  • Making excuses or lying to cover up gambling
  • Feeling guilty or worried about gambling
  • You or your family going without because the money has been spent on gambling
  • Trying to gamble to win back losses
  • Losing interest in friends, family or other activities
  • Borrowing or taking money from your friends, family or a workplace.

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

A positive first step

Chances are your friends and family may already be concerned that there’s a problem, and they may even suspect or know it’s gambling. Talk to them. Together you might come up with ways of dealing with the problem or getting help.

If you feel that you can’t talk to your friends and family, try the free Gambling Helpline (0800 654 655) or local support services.

What you can do

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
  • If you still gamble, set a limit and leave bankcards at home
  • Avoid going to places where you can gamble or consider excluding yourself from venues
  • Involve your family and friends in your plans to stop or cut back on your gambling – it will be easier with their support
  • Contact one of the free support services
  • Visit choicenotchance.org.nz for more tips.

“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 or ashamed and not able to see a way out. Others may just think it’s a bit of fun and not realise their gambling is becoming a problem.

The sooner you tackle this together the better. The free Gambling Helpline (0800 654 655) provides confidential support for gamblers and concerned others.

Ways you can help

  • 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 or free local support services with them.

"Do the whānau thing and look after each other."

Gambling Helpline – 0800 654 655

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