Problem gambling resource launched

21:32, Sep 03 2013

A new problem gambling information and support resource has been launched in the south.

The "How Much is Lunch?" resource, developed by Nga Kete Matauranga Pounamu Charitable Trust, is a text information resource in the visual style of a standard wallet and was launched on Sunday to acknowledge National Gamble-Free Day.

The resource aims to raise awareness of problem gambling and the amount spent on pokie machines in the city in 2012.

It will include a range of support services and agencies in the south and a short gambling self-assessment questionnaire.

The amount of money spent on pokie machines in Southland has remained similar in the past three years.

Nga Kete Matauranga Pounamu Charitable Trust Maori health promoter Joyce Manahi said the resource was a meaningful way to engage communities with information and local support.


"There are no local problem gambling resources available specific to Southland that discusses problem gambling in a meaningful way relevant to our communities."

The total Invercargill spend in pokie machines for 2012 was $15.45 million, which included 302 pokie machines and 22 venues, up from $14.75m spent the previous year in 309 pokie machines at 24 venues. In 2010, $15.87m was spent in 332 pokie machines at 24 venues.

Nga Kete Matauranga Pounamu Charitable Trust Maori health promotion manager Daniel Tawaroa said the 2012 pokie machine spend suggested there was a need to be more vigilant of the impact of problem gambling harm, which affected Southland families and children.

Problem Gambling Foundation of New Zealand health promoter Sara Epperson said two out of five regular pokie machine players developed a problem at some point.

A pokie machine in the south made more money than the average person, she said.

"It doesn't have to be this way. Councils in the south are seeing the magnitude of the harms caused by problem gambling.

"Southland and Gore have shown leadership by also banning the transfer of pokie machines to new venues." 

The Southland Times