Overall, the outcomes presented in this report show progress has been made in reducing gambling harm and inequalities in New Zealand. However, since approximately 2012 the downward movement in harm levels has plateaued. A range of research-based explanations for these outcomes has been identified and presented. Research has shown that the plateauing in harm reduction is not unique to New Zealand.
Progress has also been made across all of the 11 objectives set out in the Ministry’s integrated Strategy in a number of the areas, although challenges to further progress have been identified.
These results imply that the current harm reduction activities should be reviewed and reinvigorated if the aim is to further reduce levels of gambling harm and inequities.
The Outcomes Report identifies a number of areas for including:
- the sector working together as a whole:
- revitalizing and refocusing service delivery
- improving host responsibility practices aimed at identifying risky gambling behaviour and encouraging those at risk to seek help
- enabling more effective and efficient voluntary multi-venue exclusion practice
- relocating non-casino gambling machines (ie, ‘pokies’) away from the most socioeconomically deprived areas
- improving the flow of the distribution of the proceeds of gambling to the community groups in the areas in greatest need of support.
What happens with the Outcomes Report now
This report compliments the suite of documents that have been issued supporting the public consultation on the draft 2019/2021 strategy to prevent and minimise gambling harm consultation document.
The Ministry consultation process has acknowledged the need to reflect and refocus the proposed service plan for the 2019/20 to 2021/22 period to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of gambling harm minimisation services and to respond to changes in the gambling environment.