Juxtaposing the potential downfalls associated with low-risk gambling like occasionally playing the Lottery or casino games from time to time against severe physical disorders such as cancer and physical bodily harm is purely salacious, according to leading New Zealand economic advisor, TBD Advisory.
TBD recently distributed a video commentary, addressing a report on the effects of low-risk gambling, commissioned by the national Ministry of Health. The report, “Measuring the Burden of Gambling Harm in New Zealand” has been characterized by TBD as essentially flawed and possibly even purposefully misleading and biased.
A waste of time and resources
The report reportedly cost the health department NZ$319,000, but this may have been an ill-advised splurge as the research value is highly questionable. According to TBD Advisory, the analysis of low-risk gambling detailed in the report contains no fewer than 10 glaring research flaws.
The research in the report suggests that low-risk gambling is comparable to various diseases and complete physical incapacity due to mutilation. A severe addiction to casino games, sports betting or any other type of gambling is placed alongside suffering from terminal cancer or even the long-lasting effects of a major stroke.
Another identified error purported by the hypothetical “research” is the supposition that gambling is a unique addiction unto itself and is, therefore, damaging and even capable of robbing the addict of up to 20% of their quality of life. This position, unfortunately, disregards the fact that any addiction is rooted in deep, fundamental causes and cannot be seen as stand-alone harm all unto itself.
Questionable survey techniques
The findings of the report are also suspicious because the survey respondents may have been biased towards particular leanings regarding gambling-related harm. The participants were also allegedly not selected completely at random.
The Gaming Machine Association of New Zealand has demanded either the complete withdrawal of the report or that it should be re-published, accompanied by a warning, detailing the potential flaws and biases contained therein. The organisation’s position is that the research report does not paint an accurate picture of the casino industry and is, therefore, of little to no value.