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Our children – the innocent victims of problem gambling

Our children – the innocent victims of problem gambling

A one day symposium being held in Wellington on 23 August will feature children sharing their personal stories through poetry and song about the impact gambling has had on their lives.

The symposium focuses on how problem gambling affects our children and young people in New Zealand and will include speakers who are leaders in their field from academia, community organisations, field workers and policy thinkers, who will share their expertise on the issue.

Tony Milne, Problem Gambling Foundation National Manager of Public Health, says this symposium is an opportunity to raise awareness about problem gambling and, in particular, the significant impact it has on families.

“So often we forget that gambling harm not only affects the individuals who gamble, but other people in their lives. It can be our children and young people who suffer the consequences and who become the innocent victims,” he says.

“Pokies are dangerous, addictive products that can cause people to behave in ways they wouldn’t normally behave and when parents have problems with gambling, it is often children who suffer most. Gambling can lead to broken homes, damaged relationships, physical and emotional harm, and a higher risk of the children becoming problem gamblers themselves.”

Guest speakers include Professor Jonathan Boston, Director of the Institute of Policy Studies at Victoria University of Wellington and chair of the expert advisory group on solutions to child poverty, who will present findings from the advisory group on child poverty; Dr Maria Bellringer from the Gambling and Addictions Research Centre at AUT, who will present on the impact of gambling on children, child gambling and normalised gambling culture among young people;  and a former gambler who will share her battle with a life-changing addiction to pokies.

The event is open to everyone interested in this important social issue and who would like to understand or play an active role in developing solutions and addressing the determinants of health of our current and future generations.

The symposium is being held on 23 August from 10am at St John in the City, Corner of Willis and Dixon Streets in Wellington.

To register go to: http://pgfnz.org.nz/events/2013-wellington-symposium/

For further information please contact:

Tony Milne

National Manager of Public Health

Problem Gambling Foundation of New Zealand


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