Choice Not Chance
The Choice Not Chance website provides information about gambling risks and the various things people can choose to do about harmful gambling, rather than leaving it to chance. This website is useful for anyone; concerned about their own or someone else’s gambling or those people in the wider community that would like to help.
Department of Internal Affairs
Administers and enforces gambling regulation in New Zealand.
Gambling is meant to be a fun and social form of entertainment. It offers the player a chance of winning – but all forms of gambling are designed to pay out less than they take in. For some people, the idea and excitement of winning means gambling can easily start to cause harm.
What is harmful gambling?
Harmful gambling is when your gambling starts to cause problems for you or others – for example, if:
- you’re starting to have some stress associated with your gambling
- it’s starting to put pressure on your budget
- it’s causing problems with some of your relationships
or it’s simply no longer fun – but the choice to cut back is proving difficult.
Some forms of gambling are more harmful than others – especially those that allow you to play continuously and lose track of how much you’re spending.
Effects of harmful gambling
Living alongside a problem gambler can be very stressful.
Over time, harmful gambling can have a significant negative effect on your health, your relationships, your finances, your employment, your children and the community you live in. Harmful gambling can also have a negative impact on your wider relationships, such as with friends and work colleagues.
Warning signs of harmful gambling
If any of these sound familiar, it could point to a problem with your gambling (or the gambling of someone you know):
- Spending more time or money than you planned
- Making excuses or being secretive with friends or family about how much time and money you're spending gambling
- Feeling guilty or worried about how much you're gambling
- You or your family going without
- Thinking that you can gamble your way out of debt
- Losing interest in your friends, family or other activities
- Borrowing or taking money from your friends, family or a workplace.
If you’d like to talk to someone about your gambling (or someone else’s gambling), there are services available to help you:
The Gambling Helpline offers free and confidential information and support over the phone 24 hours a day. They can also help arrange for you to see a counsellor in your area.
- Freephone: 0800 654 655
- Free txt: 8006
Specialist telephone support
The following free telephone support services are also available, but with limited hours of operation:
- Māori Gambling Helpline
- Pasifika Gambling Helpline
- Asian Helpline
- Gambling Debt Helpline
- Youth Gambling Helpline
List of Gambling Counselling Services
There are also several free face-to-face counselling services across the country.