New Zealand has been working hard on its gambling harm reduction lately. In addition to launching a Harm Reduction Bill, the local government is considering spending $55 million on a strategy for promoting safe and responsible gambling in the country.
According to a recent report in Australia’s Herald Sun, the New Zealand government wants to take a new approach to gambling reform. Rather than focusing on betting limits and prevention programs that place the onus on the player, the government wants to place an emphasis on counselling and public health.
Starting recently, gambling addiction is being treated as a public health concern. As such, local politicians want to make changes to medical services that reflect this. This would mean that more counselling and treatment services would be made available to problem gamblers and their loved ones.
Gambling research will also be a significant part of this strategy. As it stands, very little research has been done to truly understand how gambling addiction can be prevented and treated and the New Zealand government wants to change this.
The cost of the new program will be provided by casino and pokies club operators. It seems fair that gambling venues support harm reduction measures, and we hope that there won’t be very much resistance.