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Gambling Help

Gambling is a nice pastime. After a day’s work, NZ people deserve all the relaxation they can get. Life in New Zealand is laid-back compared to many countries where money means everything. But that doesn’t mean we don’t need our time away from work. There are many hobbies you can choose from. But gambling allows us New Zealanders to escape the daily reality and enjoy a couple of hours of unlimited fun.

Having said that, unlimited should never mean having no boundaries. “Too much is too much”. It sounds funny, but it holds a lot of truth. Everything with ‘too much’ in front isn’t good. Too much sugar, too much talk… You got the picture.

When gambling becomes too much, it’s now an addiction and no longer a healthy activity. It’s wise to recognize any gambling addiction signs because the negative effects of gambling can be disastrous.

So, what’s a gambling addiction? When gambling gets too much? And where to find gambling addiction help?

Gambling addiction signs that should ring a bell

When you gamble out of compulsion, your hobby turned into an addiction. It’s really as simple as that. You can no longer control the urge to gamble if you have the money to spend or not. Let’s list some signs New Zealanders should be aware of.

List of red flags

  • You spend more on gambling than you should. You can’t really afford it for the moment, but you can’t stop yourself. Whatever the consequences. Seems you don’t care.
  • You use other people’s money. When you start betting with borrowed money, you really can’t control your gambling habit. Even though there is, in fact, no money, you still spend what’s not yours, probably without a clue about how to pay your creditors back. That’s a worry for later? Huge red flag. And not a New Zealand thing to do really.
  • You no longer bet because it gives you pleasure. Instead, you gamble because you must.
  • You gamble like there is no tomorrow. There isn’t any limit. Your gambling has become an excess.
  • You lie about it. You can feel something is wrong and you try to hide your gambling gambit by lying about it. ‘No, I didn’t spend the weekend in the casino again. I went fishing,”. Yeah right. We might call this the addiction casino excuse.
  • You no longer borrow money; you just steal it. Now you crossed the line big time. Borrowing to be able to gamble is already quite dramatic. But stealing?
  • You gamble to stop thinking. This is probably the worst way of escaping reality. It’s like drinking to forget your worries. This is far from having fun.
  • Your family and friends worry. Don’t ignore this. If friends and family are worried, they have a good reason. Better listen to them.

Check the most up to dated list on the site of Ministry of Health NZ.

mobile casinoWe can add more signs to our list. But if you recognize only one of the listed signs in your behavior, that’s already alarming enough. Let’s hope not. There is nothing wrong with, for example, a trip to your favourite NZ casino, as long as you don’t show signs you suffer from “casino problems”, as to speak. Casinos and gambling addiction go way back. We prefer that you show no symptoms at all. Not even some online casino NZ addiction symptoms!

Still not sure if you have an addiction? Try taking tests on Choice Not Cance site.

Is your gambling still just for fun?

What to do if you think a sign applies to you?

Don’t panic. You are not crazy or anything. That’s not an NZ trademark. But It can happen to the best of us. New Zealanders are certainly not weak or irresponsible, or anything like that. Still, this can overcome people of all backgrounds, social standing and intelligence. Literally, any New Zealander can develop this harmful habit, out of the blue.

That doesn’t mean you can just shrug it off, stay calm and go on with things, the cool New Zealand way. Not this time. Overcoming your gambling addiction is very important. Help is needed. Luckily help for gambling addiction is widely available. There is even online help for gambling addiction. That’s a relief, right?

What causes a gambling addiction and what are the dangers?

An addiction can be genetically inherited. Other causes may be depression, anxiety, or boredom. Some people, also otherwise healthy New Zealanders, are vulnerable to compulsive behavior. Or having too many problems can drive you to gamble as a form of escapism. Whatever the reason, the dangers are not to be laughed at. It can affect your mood (and cause severe mood swings), and your bank account balance. In the worst case, it can drive you to do something stupid (after having lost everything you once owned – including your loved ones).

If so, it’s time to find help. But where in New Zealand?

Self-help for your gambling addiction is where the healing process starts. It’s time to know your limits. You might think about using one of the following:

Therapy and Counselling for New Zealanders in trouble

  1. Addiction Counselling NZ. “Counsellors and therapists in New Zealand who can support you when you suffer from addiction”.
  2. OnlineTherapy offers online therapy and counselling. On the website, you will read: “Person-centered therapy helps you change by giving you the power to taking charge of your challenges, self-care and interests”.

Medical Treatment

Gamble addiction treatment is available in New Zealand. Talk to your GP. He/she may refer you to a specialist.

Group Support

Supporting Families New Zealand – Support Groups for New Zealanders.

The PGF Services “Gambling Support and Maintenance Groups” holds meetings in Auckland and any New Zealander who thinks he/she has a gambling problem can take part after being referred by a PGF Services counsellor, who you can call on 0800 664 262.

This is where New Zealanders take up responsibility and exclude themselves from gambling possibilities. You avoid NZ gambling venues or let New Zealand casinos close your account, or whatever it takes to avoid temptation.

Or go find Anonymous help (gambling help NZ)

Organizations that know how to help people with a gambling addiction:

  • Supporting Families New Zealand – Addiction. From their website, About Us: “SFNZ supports families, whānau and communities to foster mental wellbeing and plays a key role in the journey to wellness for people whose lives are affected by mental distress”.
  • At PGF Services qualified counsellors are waiting to give free, confidential advice. Call 0800 664 262.

Gambling addiction helpline for New Zealanders

  • Northern Region: 0800 732 825

  • Central North Island: 0800 555 434
  • South Island: 0800 876 682

Opening Hours: Monday – Friday: 8.30am – 5.00pm

Players can also use the Gambling Helpline site 24/7:


Is gambling only a problem if the person can’t afford his or her losses?

We need to realize that having a gambling problem doesn’t stop at financial problems. Nobody can afford to get into relationship trouble or losing his or her job. And what about developing mental issues or getting into legal problems? Surely scary potential consequences!

If someone gambles occasionally, he or she can’t be a problem gambler, right?

There are compulsive gamblers who gamble all the time and others who binge. Binge gamblers only gamble once in a while, but then they make up for lost time by spending huge amounts of money.

Is it a good idea to help a loved one with paying off his/her debts?

Not really. This may give your loved one the impression he can easily get away with it, and “going all-in” again (and again, and again).