Earlier this year, a couple were arrested after their five children were found locked in a van while they gambled at a local SkyCity Casino. The case was shocking, as the general public looked on in awe, as a couple neglected their children while they fed their addiction. However, the crime is more common than you would think, as the rate of child abandonment at casinos has tripled over the course of the past few years.
Statistics show that 54 children were left in cars while their parents gambled in 2011. In 2010, the number was 46 and in 2009, the number was just 19. This is a shocking discovery for the general public, as it proves that more parents are putting their gambling habits before their children.
These statistics indicate two things. Firstly, there has been an increase in the number of problem gambling addicts across the country. Secondly, those that are addicted are becoming more desperate to feed their addiction. As such, more children across New Zealand are forced to suffer.
The findings come at an ideal time, as the local government attempts to pass the Harm Reduction Bill. This bill is aimed at reducing the number of poker machines across New Zealand in an attempt to curb problem gambling rates.