Responsible Gambling

For many, gambling is a source of entertainment and recreation, easily managed and enjoyed responsibly. However, a small segment of New Zealand’s gamblers may struggle to control their impulses, making it challenging to stop in time. Identifying this condition isn’t always straightforward, but gambling addiction is a severe mental health issue that consumes the thoughts of pathological gamblers. They often find it difficult to set limits and frequently chase losses endlessly. This addiction can detrimentally impact one’s quality of life and strain or even destroy relationships.

Problem gambling can have adverse effects on various aspects of your well-being, setting off a chain reaction. Therefore, it’s crucial always to engage in responsible gambling and stay vigilant and informed. Our primary goal is to keep you up-to-date and guide you toward responsible gambling practices. In this article, we delve into the following topics:

  • The underlying causes of gambling addiction in New Zealand.
  • Common signs and symptoms of addiction among New Zealand players.
  • Key tips to prevent and distance oneself from gambling addiction.
  • The responsibilities of gambling companies and safeguarding minors.
  • Several organizations dedicated to aiding in addiction recovery and debt management.

Causes of Gambling Addiction

The nature of gambling addiction is complex, with no single cause responsible for triggering such behavior. In essence, there is no one-size-fits-all explanation for becoming addicted to gambling, as several interrelated factors contribute to the formation of addictive habits. The worst-case scenario relates to the inability of some New Zealand players to control their online gambling behavior.

  1. Biological Causes: We are all unique and naturally drawn to activities that provide us with enjoyment and excitement. Our brains seek happiness-inducing chemicals and pleasurable experiences to remain stimulated and engaged. Compulsive gambling can also be influenced by genetics and individual traits, making certain individuals more susceptible to addiction due to inherited risk factors.
  2. Psychological Causes: Psychological factors play a crucial role in shaping the distorted perception of reality that gamblers often have. Primary factors include the belief that gambling reduces stress, serves as an antidote to boredom, and offers pleasurable sensations from winning. Consequently, addicted gamblers often possess poor coping skills.
  3. Socio-cultural Causes: As social beings, we are naturally inclined to seek social acceptance and connection with others. Given that many New Zealand casino sites cultivate a welcoming social environment, Kiwis may feel understood and accepted within the gambling community. Moreover, gambling behavior may escalate if family members and close friends endorse and regularly participate in gambling.
  4. Spiritual Causes: Beliefs in higher powers or personal value systems can influence one’s propensity for gambling. Some individuals adhere to religious beliefs that discourage gambling, while others, detached from religious doctrine, may be more inclined to engage in gambling activities without the constraints of universal principles.

Common Signs and Symptoms of Gambling Addiction

Identifying individuals engaged in addictive gambling is not straightforward, as there is no definitive set of behaviors that unequivocally indicate addiction. The crucial initial step is recognizing the signs and symptoms, followed by seeking viable solutions. This process is often neither easy nor obvious, and breaking the cycle of addiction can be challenging. Here are some of the most common signs that New Zealanders may be sliding into addictive gambling:


  • Using Gambling as a Source of Income: Real-money gambling often arises from the desperate need for quick cash. The allure of ascending the socioeconomic ladder rapidly is compelling, with the belief that it will resolve all financial problems.
  • Secrecy About Gambling: Addicted gamblers may feel compelled to keep their gambling activities secret, crossing the boundary of responsible play. Frequent tardiness and absentmindedness are potential indicators of a gambling problem, as hiding one’s whereabouts may signal a recognition that something is amiss.
  • Taking Loans for Gambling: Gambling may persist even when an individual can ill afford it, potentially leading to online gambling using credit options like PayPal credit or credit card casinos. At a certain point, individuals may contemplate taking out loans to cover gambling-related debts, a perilous sign that should not be disregarded.


  • Emotional Symptoms: Emotional signs of gambling addiction may include heightened anxiety, depression, irritability, and persistent sadness. Some Kiwi players may even experience suicidal thoughts, with the disappointment of losing all their money taking a toll on their mental well-being.
  • Physical Symptoms: The desperation phase of addiction may manifest in the physical realm, with negative emotions exacting a toll on an individual’s physical health. Self-inflicted harm is a worst-case scenario, and sleep deprivation can further exacerbate the situation. Weight fluctuations, pale skin, and acne can be specific indicators of physical distress.

Top Gambling Tips from Experts

The most effective approach to addressing gambling addiction is prevention. It is far easier to avoid the consequences of addiction than to cope with its aftermath. While there is nothing inherently wrong with gambling for leisure, recognizing when gambling begins to dominate one’s time and self-control is critical. Here are professional tips to ensure safe online gambling:

  1. Choose Reputable Casino Brands: Opt for trusted online casinos that prioritize player safety and responsible gambling. Reputable New Zealand casinos are committed to ensuring that your gambling experience is enjoyable without spiraling into addiction.
  2. Avoid Chasing Losses: One of the worst strategies in gambling is the compulsion to chase losses. The belief that luck will soon change can lead to a never-ending cycle of escalating bets and mounting losses. It’s essential to abandon the notion that luck will turn in your favor.
  3. Set and Stick to a Budget: This is especially feasible at low deposit casinos, where a small initial deposit makes it easier to manage your spending. Always adhere to your predetermined limits, even if you are on a winning streak. The idea that your luck will last longer can tempt you to exceed your set limits.
  4. Avoid Gambling Under the Influence: Refrain from playing at New Zealand online casinos while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Substances impair your judgment, potentially leading to larger bets than intended. Drugs can lead to overestimation of your abilities, while alcohol can induce aggression and harm to yourself and others.
  5. Read Bonus Terms: Familiarize yourself with the terms and conditions of bonuses offered by Kiwi gambling sites before using them. Some bonuses may apply exclusively to specific games during specific periods, while others may only be available after making a certain deposit.
  6. Learn the Rules Before Playing for Real Money: Take the time to understand the rules and regulations imposed by New Zealand online casinos before playing for real money. Review the wagering requirements to avoid misunderstandings and potential losses due to lack of knowledge.
  7. Test Demo Games or Use Free Credit Deals: Reputable New Zealand casinos often offer free demo games to help players become acquainted with their offerings. Take advantage of no deposit casino bonuses to explore the variety and quality of games available, ensuring that you make informed decisions.

Preventing Gambling Addiction for Kiwis

Responsible online casinos that accept NZ dollars provide tools to promote responsible gambling among their clients. While many of these tools are not automatic, they empower players to exercise self-restraint and responsible gambling behaviors. Although online casinos can issue reminders when players exceed certain limits, it is ultimately up to individuals to make a conscious effort to manage their gambling activities. Here are some proactive measures:

  1. Use Gambling Blockers: Register for services like Betblocker and Gamban, which allow players to exclude themselves from gambling for a specified duration. These blocking software applications enable users to configure their web browsers to block access to all gambling websites.
  2. Set Time-Outs: Responsible New Zealand gambling platforms offer features that allow players to specify the duration of their gambling sessions. This helps individuals monitor their gambling time and avoid excessive play. Alternatively, players can opt for breaks lasting from 24 hours to several months, during which they cannot log in to their accounts.
  3. Establish Deposit Limits: Setting deposit limits is a practical strategy for adhering to predetermined budget constraints. Players can set limits on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis, making it easier to stay within their financial boundaries. Most New Zealand operators offer this option to promote responsible gambling.
  4. Set Loss Limits: Self-imposed loss limits are highly effective in controlling gambling activities. Players can cap their losses for a specific game or across the entire platform, helping them gamble in a sensible and disciplined manner by adhering to a strict budget from the outset.
  5. Unsubscribe from Email Newsletters: To avoid temptation, unsubscribe from email newsletters sent by New Zealand gambling brands. These newsletters often contain promotions, bonuses, coupon codes, and enticing offers. Blocking them will help you resist the immediate urge to join a game.
  6. Seek Customer Support Guidance: For serious issues, consider seeking professional support. Many resources are available to New Zealand players, providing advice on responsible gambling practices. These resources offer various options, many of which are free and provide 24/7 online support.

Responsibilities of Gambling Companies

Responsible iGaming companies in New Zealand prioritize the well-being of their players and understand that profiting from individuals suffering from gambling addiction is unacceptable. The following features are considered essential tools for every online casino operator, demonstrating their commitment to player safety:

  • Active Licensing: Always choose licensed casinos that adhere to the laws and regulations imposed by governing bodies. Ensure that new online casino sites hold valid gambling licenses, as these licenses oblige online casinos to protect their customers and implement fair play protocols.
  • Self-Exclusion Options: Verified online casinos must offer self-exclusion tools to their clients and ensure that gamblers are aware of this option. Self-exclusion allows players to voluntarily exclude themselves from gambling for a specified period or delete their accounts entirely. Gambling platforms must intervene when players exceed predetermined loss limits within a specific timeframe.
  • Testing for Gambling Addiction: Online casinos and support organizations provide quick self-assessment tests that enable players to evaluate their condition. These assessments detect gambling issues and underscore the seriousness of the problem, informing individuals if they need to take restrictive measures.

Protection of Children

Today, children have unfettered access to a wide array of online content, including gambling. While society is vigilant about protecting children from violence, drugs, and bullying, gambling often goes overlooked. However, minors can be resourceful and use their parents’ data to access online gambling sites without detection. It is essential to block gambling sites on children’s devices.

It is an undeniable fact that more young New Zealanders are engaging in gambling activities. If a family member is a gambler, children are more susceptible to influence, which can distort their perception of gambling. Therefore, it is crucial to take proactive measures to shield children from gambling at an early age. Even if you are a gambling enthusiast, certain precautions can help prevent your children from becoming involved in gambling activities. Never leave your computer unattended while gambling online, and ensure that your profile is password-protected. Educate them about the risks and dangers associated with gambling.

Children in families with gambling problems are also at significant risk. These children may face neglect and torment, potentially suffering from abuse or other forms of domestic violence. Even in the absence of these issues, they may develop depression or substance abuse problems later in life.

New Zealand Organizations That Can Assist with Addiction

Overcoming a gambling addiction is a challenging journey that requires extensive support and guidance. While addiction can be tough to combat, many support organizations can help individuals stay on track and remain committed to their recovery. Reputable New Zealand online casinos often collaborate with these organizations to promote responsible gambling. Here are some organizations that can provide assistance:

  • Gambling Helpline: This is a widely available support network for New Zealand players, offering a national free-phone service that operates 24/7. The helpline provides various services and essential gambling information, with personalized advice available for anonymous users.
  • Safer Gambling Aotearoa: This program is run by the NZ Health Promotion Agency and aims to raise awareness of the harms associated with addictive gambling. It includes strategies such as a free gambling test to discourage online gambling.
  • Problem Gambling Foundation: This organization offers trained counselors to assist both gamblers and those affected by gambling. Support groups further encourage members to resist the urge to continue gambling and offer valuable assistance in getting their lives back on track.

Organizations That Can Assist with Debt

If your debt has reached an unmanageable level, it’s crucial to seek help. Numerous organizations provide debt management services, offering a range of payment options. They can also assist in dealing with aggressive debt recovery tactics employed by creditors. Here are some organizations that offer debt-related support:

  • Insolvency and Trustee Service: Part of the Ministry of Business, Innovation, and Employment, this service provides various insolvency options depending on the amount owed. The Debt Repayment Order (DRO) is a suitable insolvency option for amounts below $50,000, offering supervisors for individuals and companies.
  • Debtfix: This organization serves as a lifeline for individuals drowning in debt, offering relief, debt management advice, and practical solutions tailored to each unique financial situation. Their personalized approach helps individuals avoid resorting to bankruptcy.
  • CAP Debt Help: CAP Debt Help offers long-term debt counseling for individuals facing severe debt and financial difficulties. They provide debt management plans and support from the CAP team, who negotiate with creditors on behalf of clients to establish workable repayment plans.

Responsible Gambling: FAQ

What Is Gambling Addiction?

Gambling addiction is a mental health disorder characterized by an irresistible impulse to gamble despite adverse consequences. It is a progressive condition with psychological, physical, and social repercussions, and it often co-occurs with other substance abuse issues. Many countries classify gambling addiction as a public health concern due to its substantial negative impact.

Is Gambling Addiction a Disease?

Yes, gambling addiction is considered a mental health disorder and an impulse control disorder. It requires immediate attention, treatment, and support. Given its significant consequences, many nations view gambling addiction as a public health issue.

Why Can’t I Stop Gambling?

Overcoming a gambling addiction can be challenging because gamblers often underestimate the addictive nature of their habit. However, recognizing when gambling has become problematic is the first step. Seek support from friends or family, visualize the consequences of continued gambling, take a day-by-day approach, and consider signing up for a self-exclusion scheme.

How Can I Test If I’m Gambling-Addicted?

Numerous online gambling addiction tests are available. These tests are free, immediate, and anonymous, allowing individuals to evaluate their gambling behavior. They can also determine the stage of addiction they may be experiencing, serving as an initial step toward self-awareness and recovery.

I Probably Have a Gambling Problem, What Should I Do?

If you suspect you have a gambling problem, seek help immediately. Consult the support platforms mentioned in this article and remain committed to your decision to quit or restrict your gambling activities. Develop a plan and adhere to it, even when facing moments of weakness. Consider enrolling in a self-exclusion program to prohibit access to online casinos for a predetermined period.