High gambling worries for Pasifika students

Last updated 09:45 16/06/2014

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A report into youth gambling in New Zealand suggests more than a third of Pasifika high school students worry about their gambling habits, compared to one in 16 students of European background.

The University of Auckland study found a disproportionate rate of problem gambling in disadvantaged communities.

This was linked to a greater density of gambling outlets in low deprivation neighbourhoods, researcher Fiona Rossen said.

She said the outlets enticed people into gambling as a way of making money and escaping poverty.

The survey reflected a broad range of responses from ethnic groups with 36 per cent of Pasifika students saying they were concerned about how much they gambled, 24 per cent of Asian, 18 per cent of Maori and 6 per cent of European.

Similar trends were seen for students worrying about the gambling behaviour of family and whanau - Maori 15 per cent, Pasifika 24 per cent, Asian 11 per cent, European 5 per cent.

Results drawn from 8500 high school aged students showed as a whole young people were spending less time and money gambling between 2007 and 2012.

It noted a small “but statistically significant decrease” over the period.

Among students at risk of becoming problem gamblers, 60 per cent said they would seek support and advice from parents, 50 per cent from friends and 17 per cent said they would not look for help at all.

Nearly one quarter of all students surveyed reported gambling in some form over the previous year, with most saying they gamble to have fun, win money or because they want a challenge.

The most common gambling activities were bets with friends or family, Instant Kiwi (scratchies), and cards or coin games.

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