Art & Entertainment | Book Reviews | Education | Entertainment Video | Health | Lifestyle | Sport | Sport Video | Search

 

A tough time for problem gamblers

MEDIA RELEASE

For immediate release

— Wellington, Friday 12 December 2014

A tough time for problem gamblers.

The Christmas holiday period can be an excruciating time for problem gamblers and a time of grief for their families.

The additional costs of Christmas, travel and hosting relatives and friends, as well as the myriad of pressures and expectations, can place those whose gambling has moved on from being simply a recreation at considerable risk.

The danger of them looking to gambling as an escape or the slimmest chance of a big win to pay the bills is heightened at this time, says National Director of The Salvation Army’s Addiction Services Commissioner Alistair Herring.

The human cost of harmful gambling seen by our staff includes chronic and acute debt, avoidable and prolonged poverty, increased alcohol abuse, neglected children, theft from family members, family breakups, deteriorating mental health and suicide, he says.

“Some families lose everything, including each other,” he says. “The effects on children in families affected by harmful gambling can be long-term and devastating.”

Problem gambling is a compulsive behaviour affecting between 24,000 and 80,000 New Zealand adults, with an additional estimated 167,800 low-risk gamblers who experience some harm from gambling. The ripple effect means a severe problem gambler is likely to affect between five and 10 other people, which means half a million people or more could be caught up in the chaos.

Symptoms of problem gambling include secrecy and lying about gambling, feelings of guilt or anxiety over gambling, selling things or borrowing money to gamble, going without the necessities in order to gamble, trying to win back losses, and a need to gamble larger amounts to get the same feelings of excitement.

While some stress at Christmas is unavoidable, there are a number of things families can do to reduce financial pressures and have a higher-quality holiday.
•The most memorable thing you can give children or your partner is good quality time and attention. Picnics at the beach or park or spending time together on a hobby, sport or other activity is something they will cherish long after presents wear out
•Don’t give scratch cards or other gambling products as gifts, particularly to children or young people. Not only is it illegal for people under 18 to gamble but some studies suggest it can contribute to young people becoming problem gamblers
•Have a plan when shopping for gifts and groceries. Write a list and set a budget for each person you buy for and for Christmas food
•Make Christmas gifts. People appreciate the effort and thought that goes into simple things such as home baking, crafts or homemade photo frames.
•Or agree on a $5 or $10 limit on Christmas presents, or do a Secret Santa. You will be surprised with what you can come up with some imagination and careful shopping
•Use cost-effective substitutions for Christmas dinner. A smoked chicken instead of ham is a great alternative, as is providing soft drinks rather than alcohol.

For those concerned with their gambling or others’ gambling, contact The Salvation Army on 0800 530 000 to find the nearest centre for free and confidential advice and support.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 


Howard Davis: Emerald Fennell's Promising Young Woman'


The Guardian needed not one, but three reviews to do justice to Fennell's unsettling approach, which indicates exactly how ambiguous and controversial its message really is. More>>


Howard Davis: Jill Trevelyan's Rita Angus

Although Angus has become one of Aotearoa’s best-loved painters, the story of her life remained little known and poorly understood before Jill Trevelyan's acclaimed and revelatory biography, which won the Non Fiction Award at the Montana New Zealand Book Awards in 2009, and has now been republished by Te Papa press. More>>

Howard Davis: The Back of the Painting

Painting conservators are the forensic pathologists of the art world. While they cannot bring their subjects back to life, they do provide fascinating insights into the precise circumstances of a painting's creation, its material authenticity, and constructive methodology. More>>


Howard Davis: Black Panthers on the Prowl

A passionate and gripping political drama from Shaka King, this is an informative and instructive tale of human frailty that centers around the charismatic Chicago Black Panther leader Fred Hampton, who was murdered at the age of twenty-one during a police raid. More>>

Howard Davis: Controlling the High Ground

Stephen Johnson's raw and angry film not only poses important questions with scrupulous authenticity, but also provides a timely reminder of the genocidal consequences of casual bigotry and xenophobia. More>>

Howard Davis: Dryzabone - Robert Conolly's The Dry

After the terrible devastation caused by last year’s bushfires, which prompted hundreds of Australians to shelter in the ocean to escape incineration and destroyed uncountable amounts of wildlife, The Dry has been released during a totally different kind of dry spell. More>>


Howard Davis: Hit the Road, Jack - Chloé Zhao's Nomadland

Nomadland is perhaps the ultimately 'road' movie as it follows a group of dispossessed and disenfranchised vagabonds who find a form of communal refuge in camp sites and trailer parks after the economic contraction of 2008. More>>

 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • CULTURE
  • HEALTH
  • EDUCATION
 
 
  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland