Ministry of Health of New Zealand is taking the help of technology for addressing problem gambling in the nation. This is being done with public consultation for preventing and minimizing harm caused by gambling. The consultation plan was launched last month by MoH, New Zealand. It is refreshing the strategy every three years and the consultation process runs through to September 21st. The feedback of the consultation will help in shaping the direction further for the Ministry’s Strategy to Prevent and Minimize Gambling Harm 2019-20 to 2021-22.
Included in the strategy are draft proposals for the plan which will help in setting general priorities and directions for the government for addressing the issue of problem gambling. In the framework, there is proposed funding levels for the Ministry along with strategies of activities that help in gambling harm prevention and minimization. The draft also has proposed service plan for three years from 2019-20 to 2021-22. There is also mention of proposed problem gambling levy rates and weighting options per gambling sector.
The Gambling Act 2003 was enacted by the New Zealand government for developing an integrated strategy for minimizing and preventing gambling harm. This is reviewed after every three years. Latest reviews are important and crucial as they help in ascertaining the rapidly changing and evolving gaming market. With the reviews the government can change their policies and strategies and makes ones which are suitable for the times.
Various factors are taken into consideration when it comes to developing a service plan for Strategy to Prevent and Minimize Gambling Harm for 2019-20 to 2021-22. Since the gambling industry is rapidly developing and evolving, new ways might be needed for combating the various problems. Online gambling is growing in demands and there is also a great convergence between gaming and gambling.
As per latest reports, it has been seen that there have been slight changes in percentage of the population, which is affected by gambling harm. However, when seen in line with population growth, the change is not that worth mentioning. There are some risk groups, which have been identified by the MoH who are more vulnerable to gambling harm. These include Pacific people, Maori and people who have extremely low incomes. Research shows that more than 50% of electronic gaming machines are located in areas, where there is evident socio-economic deprivation. These are areas where there is a concentration of Pacific and Maori population and they have high rates of gambling harm.
The main areas of harm are from non-casino gaming machines, which are also known as pokies. These are mostly seen in pubs and clubs. There is also a steady and rapid increase in lotteries presentations and expenses, which rivals casino expenditure. Internet based gambling and convergence of gambling and gaming are also areas of concern.
However, the industry has shown great gesture towards fighting problem gambling. There are greater scopes of improvement in this sector, but the active participation has made the government quite happy. Various means are being sought for improving the attempts. Help from technology can also be sought if necessary.
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