Ethnic minorities in NZ may have a problem with gambling

Originally Posted on Sunday Apr 11 4:15:00 BST 2010

Some new statistics on the gambling habits of New Zealanders appears to show that of the Pacific ethnic population with a gambling problem, Samoans are more at risk than any other.

The Problem Gambling Foundation of New Zealand’s Mapu Maia is managed by Persio Ah-Hone Siitia.  She is Samoan born and she is currently concerned by legislation put forward by the Samoan Government which will allow a casino to be built.

She feels that the negative effect of the casino will far outweigh the positive aspects of raised revenues, and that families of vulnerable people would be adversely affected by such a move.

She also states that about 7% of people seeking help in New Zealand for gambling problems are from the Pacific ethnicity and half of those are Samoan.  This is a big problem for the community as it is estimated that for every person with a gambling problem up 10 other people around them will be affected too.

The most easily available form of gambling is the pokie machine and this continues to be a problem for some gamblers.  With the ever increasing accessibility of the internet, online gambling may also be a problem for a minority of people.

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