Have a Gambling Problem? Here Is the Complete List of Helpful Resources to Reach

Gambling addiction might be a serious issue, but there is always a way out. If you are experiencing gambling problems or want to support someone you love, here is the list of resources and help centres you can reach to get information and professional help.

Stay in Control

It’s much easier to prevent gambling addiction than to treat it, so it’s important to follow several simple rules and practice gaming hygiene.

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    Choose real-live interaction instead of talking to people online;
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    Set gambling limits and pay all the bills before you start betting;
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    Make sure you spend more time doing other things than gambling.
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    Do not make gambling your only source of income;
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    Do not keep your gambling problems or debts in secret;
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    Do not communicate with other gamblers only.

If you need more information about gambling addiction or think of getting help, look for it here:

Choice Not Chance. It is the government-supported resource and informational campaign aimed at spreading awareness about problem gambling and responding to gambling-related problems. Here, you can find all the necessary information about gambling addiction and get free help from professionals.

Tel: 0800 654 655, 8066

Website: choicenotchance.org.nz

Treat Addiction

The first step to fighting a problem is to detect it. Here is the list of gambling addiction symptoms — look at them and count how many you can check.

  • 1. It’s hard for you to stop gambling or even to take a break;

  • 2. You borrow money to spend on betting;

  • 3. You keep your gambling activities in secret;

  • 4. All or almost all of your friends are gamblers;

  • 5. You bet more money than you can afford;

  • 6. You are experiencing fear, anxiety, and stress caused by gambling;

  • 7. You need to increase the amount you bet constantly;

  • 8. Making bets is the only thing you want to do in your free time;

  • 9. You lose a lot of money and try to win it back;

  • 10. You have family conflicts related to your gambling activities.

In case even one of these points is relatable for you, it might be time to get professional help:

Gambling Helpline. It is a free telephone helpline available 24\7 throughout the country. It provides professional counselling and support for gamblers and their families and offers practical programs of fighting gambling addiction. There are dedicated services for Pacific and Maori people as well as a separate youth helpline for teenagers struggling from gambling addiction.

Tel: 0800 654 655, 8066

Website: gamblinghelpline.co.nz

Contacts: Link

Manaaki | NIHI. It is the first treatment app for gambling addiction in the world developed by the National Institute for Health Innovation. It uses the traditional tools and strategies of cognitive-behavioural therapy to help people who struggle with gambling addiction and for some reason can’t or don’t want to get any other professional help.

Download App: Link

Website: nihi.auckland.ac.nz

12 Twelve Steps to Recovery - Free, Simple and Proven. It is the local organisation aimed at spreading information about the classic 12 step addiction fighting problems and arranging anonymous meetings both for those struggling with gambling addiction and other addictions.

Website: 12steps.nz

Local Meetings: Link

Get practical support with your gambling problem | Gambling Therapy. It is an international organisation providing online support to people struggling with compulsive gambling all over the world. Here, you can find online support groups, personal live support, and gambling addiction forums with lots of information on the topic.

Website: gamblingtherapy.org

Download App: Link

GamAnon.Compulsive gamblers are not the only ones who need help, their families struggle too. GamAnon is the international organisation aimed at supporting those whose friends or loved ones are gambling addicts. Even though there are no offline GamAnon meetings in New Zealand, you can visit a virtual one.

Website: gam-anon.org

Virtual Meetings: Link

Stay Alive

In serious cases, gambling addiction can lead to suicide. If you or someone you know are having suicidal thoughts, please visit one of the following suicide prevention resources. Remember: you are not alone, and there is always someone to help you, you just need to ask.

LifeMatters Suicide Prevention Trust NZ. It is the suicide prevention resource aimed at providing community education and support promoting suicide prevention strategies.

Website: lifematters.org.nz

Email: contact@lifematters.org.nz

Lifeline. It is a free community helpline where one can get immediate professional counselling in a moment of crisis. If you are dealing with suicidal thoughts, don’t hesitate to give them a call — the helpline is available 24\7.

Tel: 0800 543 354

Text HELP: 4357

Website: lifeline.org.nz

Lifeline. It is a free, anonymous, and non-religious support helpline for those dealing with depression, loneliness, and suicidal feelings. It’s operated by community volunteers, i.e. ordinary people who can listen and support you in a harsh minute.

Tel: 0800 72 66 66

Website: samaritans.org.nz

Mental Health Foundation of New Zealand. It is a charitable organisation that promotes mental health and provides education, help, and support to people struggling with mental issues. It doesn’t have its own helpline though it can connect you to other suicide prevention resources and provide with helpful guides and brochures.

Website: mentalhealth.org.nz

Suicide.org: Suicide Prevention, Suicide Awareness, Suicide Support. It is the international suicide prevention resource where a person thinking of committing suicide or a family of someone in crisis can get all the necessary information and help.

Website: suicide.org

Helplines: Link

Manage Your Debts

Gambling addiction not only affects your mental health and family relationships, but it can also significantly worsen your financial situation as compulsive gamblers are prone to borrowing money and quickly getting in debt. If you need help with your debt burden, make sure to contact one of the following resources to get assistance:

MoneyTalks – Free, budgeting help, debt help It is a financial helpline where one can get any kind of budgeting advice, free of charge and confidential. Give them a call if you need to gain control over your money and find a way out of the financial crisis caused by gambling addiction.

Tel: 0800 345 123 or Text to 4029

Website: moneytalks.co.nz

Chat: Link

Gambling Debt Helpline

The Gambling Debt Helpline. It is a sub-service of the New Zealand Gambling Helpline created specifically for the people struggling with gambling debts.

Tel: 0800 654 658

Free Budget Advice | Financial Mentoring | Compassion Trust Christchurch. It is a charitable service that provides free financial mentoring and money courses to New Zealanders.

Tel: 0508 472 472

Website: compassiontrust.org.nz

Email: office@compassiontrust.org.nz

Sorted - Your independent money guide. It is a government-funded “money guide” for Kiwis. It provides tools, guides, and recommendation to promote financial education and well-being and help those in crisis sort things out.

Website: www.sorted.org.nz

Stop Gambling

According to New Zealand laws, any person can get excluded from gambling venues which means you’ll not be allowed to enter any casino in the country until the self-exclusion term runs out. It might sound harsh, but sometimes, it’s the only way to keep yourself from betting. If you are considering a self-exclusion option, either from offline or online casinos, please contact these organisations to get information and assistance:

Ban Yourself - Te Rangihaeata Oranga Trust. It is the organisation funded by the Ministry of Health. It provides free consultation and help to compulsive gamblers and their families and can assist in the self-exclusion process, including self-exclusion from online casinos.

Tel: (06) 876 6267

Website: gamblinghb.co.nz

Email: admindesk@trhor.org.nz

Gambling Addiction — Popular Myths

Gambling addiction is surrounded by myths, which makes it harder to detect and treat. As a result, compulsive gamblers tend to get help much later than those suffering from other addictions. Here are five popular myths about gambling addiction, busted and destroyed.

🔔 Myth 1. “I don’t look like a compulsive gambler, so I’m not an addict.

Truth: Problem gamblers are not some zombies wandering around in search of a casino. It can be your husband, your wife, your friend, or even your grandma, and you’ll never know it as people with gambling addiction are prone to concealing their destructive hobby.

🔔 Myth 2. “I have enough money to spend on bets, so I’m not an addict.

Truth: Being rich will only save you from the financial consequences of problem gambling, at least up to a point. But money won’t help you avoid social and mental problems connected with gambling addiction.

🔔 Myth 3. “I don’t play every day, so I’m not an addict.

Truth: Actually, it’s not about how often you bet, it’s about how you feel when you bet and how your life looks like outside of gambling. If you are betting once in a while to have fun or win some money — it’s totally fine. If gambling drags financial and mental problems, or you are feeling constant guilt for making bets — it’s a bad sign.

🔔 Myth 4. “I’m not the one to blame for being a problem gambler.

Truth: Problem gamblers often shift the blame on their family, spouse, or friends. If you can’t take the blame and accept the consequences, it can be another sign of potential gambling addiction.

🔔 Myth 5. “I can win all the money back, I just need to play more.

Truth: Your chances of winning don’t really differ throughout the gaming process as RTP of games is a stable number. A big win might come one day, but it will be inevitably followed by a big loss.

Get help now!

The earlier you recognize the problem, the easier it’s to deal with. So if you think that you or someone you know might be dealing with compulsive gambling, it’s better to seek help immediately. Remember, problem gambling is a widespread issue, and there is nothing to be ashamed of — you are not alone in this, and coming back to the normal life is easier than you think.

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