New way for people of Rotorua to check their gambling

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A new game show has hit our screens, but this one has a difference – it’s an innovative way to help people recognise the early signs of harmful gambling.

The Game Show has a new approach, where people can get help and protect themselves and others from gambling harm, said Hannah Booth, Minimising Gambling Harm Programme Manager, Health Promotion Agency.

“With more than $2 billion lost to gambling in New Zealand every year and, according to the latest Department of Internal Affairs figures, more than $4.5 million lost to non-casino gaming machines in Rotorua district in the first three months of 2014, it’s a hugely important message,” Ms Booth said.

Using the setting of a fictional game show, with former Small Blacks TV presenter Nua Finau as the charismatic host, The Game Show explains three key signs that someone’s gambling is becoming more than just fun.

Spending more to win back money you’ve lost (often called chasing losses), hiding or lying about your gambling, and suffering feelings of guilt or stress (often directly after gambling) are all warning signs that your gambling could be getting out of hand.

“Any indications of any of these signs could show that you’re experiencing gambling harm. And it’s not just about people with serious gambling problems.

“We want everyone to be aware and do something as soon as any of the signs are noticed. All too often we see clients when they are experiencing real harm from their gambling. This is a great way to encourage people to make changes and seek help earlier, Ms Booth said.

If you recognise any of these signs and wish to seek more information or help – go to choicenotchance.org.nz where you can take a quiz to check your gambling (or that of someone you care about), or call the Gambling Helpline on 0800 654 655 for a free, confidential, non-judgemental chat about your gambling concerns.

Ms Booth summed it up – “It really is a game show with a difference, with all New Zealanders being potential winners.

Launching with television commercials, the campaign will also run on radio, online and in and around selected gambling venues across the country, including Rotorua.

For further information or comment contact:

Felicity Close
Health Promotion Agency
Ph: 04 912 0316 or 021 369 081

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