Imigrants to NZ can have gambling problems

Simon Tam, a councillor for the Problem Gambling Foundation of New Zealand (PGFNZ) has said that immigrants from Asia who find it hard to adjust to life in New Zealand, can be susceptible to loneliness and can turn to life in casinos by way of forging a life in the country.

Tam states that life in East Asia and the Indian sub-continent is very different to a life in NZ – with the big cities in Asia being busy and bustling, whereas life in NZ can be much quieter – this fact coupled with not having friends, family and also not always speaking the language can lead to finding refuge in the casinos.

Gambling venues are seen as places where Asians meet other Asians or places where they will go and invite their friends along. Frequent casino attendance can obviously lead to an addiction to gambling, however, Tam says that because of the shame and stigma attached to problem gambling many Asians decide not to seek help – which he added – was the worst attitude to have…

Organisations like the PGFNZ can offer help to problem gamblers, however, they cannot pay off debts created by gambling, which is sometimes what people go to the organisation expecting…

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