Gambling addiction continues to be a major issue across New Zealand. Rates are on the rise, but problem gamblers are failing to seek help because of a stigma attached to this particular addiction. Now, a new film called Broke will premiere with the goal of communicating the message that ‘gambling harm can happen to anyone’.
The film Broke was directed by Heath Davis and stars Steve Le Marquand as Ben Kelly, a former champion footballer who has turned to gambling and is struggling to get by. The film has received plenty of praise from film critics around the world, and local responsible gambling advocates applaud Broke for its honesty in depicting gambling addiction among athletes.
It helps to bring attention to the issue and lets problem gamblers know that they are not alone. Many problem gamblers refuse to come forward and seek help because it is viewed less sympathetically than other addictions. It is important for people who have been affected by gambling harm to feel comfortable with coming forward so that they can get the help necessary to kick their addiction.
“It’s good to get it out in the open as it breaks down stigma and barriers to help-seeking,” says PGF Communications Director Andree Froude. “Gambling harm can happen to anyone, even to those we idolise. Sport players are people at the end of the day.”
A special screening of the film will be hosted by the Problem Gambling Foundation (PGF), the New Zealand Rugby League and the League 4 Life Foundation on 1 June. It will take place at 6pm at the Rialto Cinemas in Newmarket. Tickets are just $11 and $1 from each ticket sale will be donated to the League 4 Life Foundation.