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New Zealand Department of Internal Affairs : Services : Problem Gambling Skip to Access Key assignments for this site
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Gambling Act 2003


Gambling in Pubs and Clubs (Class 4)

Problem Gambling

Compliance Investigations and Audits

Infringement Notices

Funding For Community Groups

Housie, Lotteries, Games of Chance, Prize Competitions and Instant Games (Class 1, 2 and 3 Gambling)

Gambling Technical Equipment

Prohibited Gambling

Electronic Monitoring System (EMS)


Fact Sheets (Gambling Act 2003)

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Problem Gambling

Picture of mother with child and the words: Are you gambling with more than just your money? The words: The machine decides whether you win or lose. You can't do anything about it. The odds are you will lose.

Problem gambling is gambling that causes or may cause harm to the individual, his or her family, or the wider community.
    The harmful effects of problem gambling can include:
  • Financial problems
  • Problems at work (ranging from poor performance to fraud
  • Poor parenting and other relationship problems
  • Family violence
  • Alcohol abuse
  • Mental health problems.

    The key purposes of the Gambling Act include controlling the growth of gambling, and preventing and minimising the harm caused by gambling.

    The Department of Internal Affairs administers and ensures compliance with gambling legislation, licences gambling activities (except for casino gambling) and provides public information and education.

    The Ministry of Health is responsible for funding and co-ordinating problem gambling services. View their problem gambling web page:

    If you think you or someone you know may have a gambling problem talking to someone can help.

    Gambling Helpline
    The Gambling Helpline is available toll-fee on 0800 645 655.
    The Helpline also runs specialist lines for:
    Maori – 0800 654 656
    Pacific Peoples – 0800 654 657
    Youth – 0800 654 659
    Gambling Debt Problems – 0800 654 658The Gambling Helpline have a variety of resources on their website:

    Problem Gambling Foundation
    Call the Problem Gambling Foundation toll-free on 0800 664 262.
    Or in main centres:
    Auckland +64 9 623 1400
    Wellington +64 4 473 4360
    Christchurch +64 3 379 2824
    The Problem Gambling Foundation's website is:

    The Salvation Army Oasis Centre
    The Salvation Army Oasis centre have a variety of information on their website:

    Salvation Army, Oasis Centre telephone numbers:
    Auckland +64 9 846 0660
    Hamilton +64 7 839 7053
    Wellington +64 4 389 6566
    Christchurch +64 3 365 9659
    Dunedin +64 3 477 9853
    Queenstown +64 3 442 5103

    Working with industry

    The Department works closely with the industry to prevent and minimise the harm caused by gambling.

    Problem gambling is most commonly associated with gaming machines. Approximately one in five regular gamblers on gaming machines experience problem gambling at some point in their lives.

    The Department is able to help operators by providing information about problem gambling awareness training for staff and harm prevention and minimisation requirements under the Gambling Act 2003.

    If you are an operator who requires information please contact

    Pamphlets and signs for pubs, clubs and casinos

    All pubs and clubs with gaming machines and casinos must have problem gambling pamphlets and signs in their venues from 1 April 2005. Regulation 11 of the Gambling (Harm Prevention and Minimisation) Regulations 2004 requires this information to be displayed and available to players.

    The Department has developed a pamphlet and a sign to help gambling operators meet these requirements. Operators can design their own pamphlets and signs using information contained in the pamphlet and sign (below) as a template or they can print the pamphlet and sign from these links.

    * This document is in Adobe Acrobat (.pdf) format. You need to have the Adobe Acrobat Reader installed on your computer. You can download a free version from the Adobe site.

    Text may be reproduced without permission. Photographs remain copyright of the photographer.

    Printed copies of the pamphlet can also be bought from:

    Albion Graphics
    12 Armidale Street
    Petone, Lower Hutt.
    Telephone: 04 568 2552

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    Last updated: 08/03/2006