Report number 6
The National Gambling Study was designed as a prospective investigation to assess the incidence of problem and risky gambling in the New Zealand adult population, and other changes in gambling participation and gambling-related harm. These changes included increased and decreased gambling participation, decreased risky and problem gambling and relapse to at-risk and problem gambling.
The study examined findings across the four years assessing gambling prevalence trends, electronic gaming machine expenditure trends, gambling risk level (no gambling, non-problem gambling, low-risk gambling, moderate-risk gambling and problem gambling) trends, incidence of risk (number of new cases of problem, moderate-risk and low-risk gamblers), and transitions between gambling risk levels. Risk and resiliency factors for moderate-risk and problem gambling over time are also presented.
From 2012 to 2015, overall gambling participation has declined while problem gambling and low-risk and moderate-risk gambling have remained static. This poses a public health challenge of identifying the factors that explain the persistence of harm despite declining gambling participation. One reason may be a high relapse. If this is the case, greater attention is required for relapse prevention in public health and treatment programmes.
Māori and Pacific peoples continue to have very high problem gambling prevalence rates. This means that unless more focus is placed on understanding why this is the case, and processes put in place to change the current situation, Māori and Pacific communities will continue to be disproportionately affected by gambling-related harm.