Adverts to target gambling harm
Health Promotion staff are hoping a new "game show" campaign can help tackle the gambling problem in Invercargill.
Health Promotion Agency minimising gambling harm programme manager Hannah Booth said people needed to check their gambling.
More than $3.5 million was lost to gaming machines in Invercargill in the first three months of this year, she said.
The "Choice Not Chance" TV, radio and online adverts were an innovative way to help people recognise the early signs of harmful gambling.
Using the setting of a fictional game show, with former Small Blacks TV presenter Nua Finau as the host, the show explains key signs that someone's gambling is becoming more than just fun.
Warning signs gambling could be getting out of hand included spending more to win back money lost, hiding or lying about gambling, and suffering feelings of guilt or stress.
Nga Kete Matauranga Pounamu Charitable Trust chief executive Tracey Wright-Tawha said: "I'm always flabbergasted at the amount of money New Zealand spends on gambling and that gaming venues ... are over represented in poorer communities."
The trust is the sole provider of problem gambling services in Invercargill.
Southland Gaming machine proceeds: January – March 2014 Invercargill $3,512,712 Gore District $750,527 Southland District $685,117 Electronic gaming machines: January – March 2014 Gore District: 7 venues 85 machines Invercargill Central:10 venues 112 machines Appleby / Glengarry / Strathern: 4 venues 72 machines Hawthorndale / Makarewa / Waikiwi: 3 venues 44 machines Bluff / Clifton / Newfield / Richmond: 5 venues 62 machines Southland District: Winton: 3 venues 28 machines Edendale / Wyndham / Tokonui / Waituna / Woodlands: 6 venues 21 machines Lumsden / Manapouri / Riversdale / Tuatapere: 4 venues 15 machines Te Anau: 3 venues 30 machines Nightcaps / Otautau / Riverton: 5 venues 29 machines Source: Department of Internal Affairs
The Southland Times