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New Zealand Government invests heavily to minimise gambling harm

The New Zealand Labour Government has announced a NZ$76m (US$47.9m) investment to prevent and minimise gambling harm, as reported by Scoop.

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The investment will include training pathways to enable a more skilled and diverse workforce, including more peer and cultural workers, as well as new and expanded digital services and support.

Also included are education initiatives aimed to reduce harm in young people, a de-stigmatisation initiative to help change the conversation around gambling harm, and better support for vulnerable communities.

The Strategy to Prevent and Minimise Gambling Harm will be funded by a problem gambling levy paid by non-casino gaming machine operators, casinos, TAB NZ and the New Zealand Lotteries Commission.

“Effective regulation of gambling means we can deal with harms including financial problems, relationship problems, family violence, and alcohol abuse,” said Internal Affairs Minister Jan Tinetti. “The new investment and strategy is about showing we’re serious about protecting New Zealand from these harms.

“The Strategy to Prevent and Minimise Gambling Harm was developed following public consultation in late 2021 and will ensure that services are co-designed with people with lived experience of gambling harm, service providers, community groups and industry bodies.”

In the UK, problem gambling was a major issue highlighted in a recent survey by market research and analytics company YouGov, which proposed a link between gambling, cryptocurrency and financial worries due to the cost of living crisis.

Published last week, the survey found that 43% of problem gamblers own cryptocurrency, 66% of low-level problem gamblers looked to cryptocurrency trading to make money, and that problem gamblers are more likely to report negative experiences with cryptocurrency.

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