New Zealand’s gambling market is always changing, so it is important to keep up with new developments in the industry. This year, the Problem Gambling Foundation has issued a report on the current state of the country’s gambling market, highlighting some key concerns about problem gambling and underage gambling.matka
According to the report, Gambling In New Zealand, location is a major concern. It seems that poker machines are not evenly distributed across the country. Instead, they are concentrated in low income areas. In poverty-stricken communities the ratio of poker machines to people is 1:75, whereas the ratio in wealthier neighbourhoods is 1:465. As such, individuals in low-income areas are six-times more likely to be exposed to gambling. Gaming club owners state that they are not targeting these areas; rather, they are simply meeting the demand for electronic gaming.
The report also includes an updated list of risk factors. This information offers up some valuable insight into what types of people are more vulnerable to developing gambling addictions. Adults of Maori and Pacific descent are 3.5 times more likely to be problem gamblers while men are twice as likely as women to develop gambling addictions. Individuals with substance abuse problems and those suffering from depression and anxiety also present an increased risk of developing gambling problems.
In recent years, youths have become a high-risk group. More and more young people are being exposed to gambling, and some are even participating in the activity. The report cites statistics from a recent study, showing that 36% of young people started gambling by the time they were just ten years old. Most children were introduced to card games and slots by a family member, and youths growing up in single-parent homes were even more likely be exposed to the activity.
The Problem Gambling Foundation’s report also highlighted the impacts of gambling addiction. 74 000 local residents are afflicted by mental health conditions as a result of problem gambling. Additionally, 60% of moderate problem gamblers suffer from depression, and between 35 and 60 suicides take place every year that are somehow related to gambling. On an interpersonal level, gambling addiction can be harmful to the friends and family members of a problem gambler. 40% of problem gamblers’ spouses have been diagnosed with stress-related illnesses, and their children are presented with an increased risk of becoming addicted to gambling themselves.
With mounting concerns about problem gambling in New Zealand, it is important for local politicians to take a stand. The introduction of harm minimization strategies will go a long way to reducing problem gambling rates in the country, but it is also up to individuals to adopt responsible gambling practices.