This needs assessment was done as part of the Ministry’s strategy to reduce gambling harm, as required under the Problem Gambling Act 2003.
The Ministry of Health is responsible for developing an integrated problem gambling strategy under the Gambling Act 2003. As part of the development of the integrated strategy, the Ministry must undertake a needs assessment and a consultation. The needs assessment informs the development of the consultation document.
The needs assessment highlights any gaps between the research evidence, population needs, service provision and the goal of the Ministry’s strategic plan. In doing so, the needs assessment informs service planning to produce an appropriate distribution of health services to promote health-gains and better outcomes for the population.
The needs assessment found that inequities persist in the poorest communities, bearing the highest cost of gambling harm, via ‘pokie’ machines and they receive the least returns.
Research shows that the level of gambling harm in the population as a whole has remained static over the last six to seven years. This means, because the population has grown, so too have the numbers of people who are experiencing harm from their gambling.
More people as are experiencing harm but as a group they remain in proportion with the whole population. Given the level of gambling harm that the research indicates is occurring, improvements in service design and delivery are required in order for services to make a difference.
The needs assessment makes 13 recommendations about problem gambling service design and delivery. The recommendations are responded to in detail by the Ministry in the service plan section of the consultation document: Strategy to Prevent and Minimise Gambling Harm.