Staying In Control
If you or someone you know has a gambling problem or you're worried one might be developing, we have a few great tips to bring it into line. Find a plan that works for you using our tips below, then share your plan with trusted whānau and friends to help you stay on track.
It's important that you’re honest with yourself about your gambling and the harm it may be causing you or others. This might feel really hard at first but it will help you to move forward in a positive way.
It’s also a really good idea to be honest with your friends and whānau, so that they can help come up with ideas and support your plans to cut back or stop gambling.
Some people find keeping a note of how they gamble helpful, as they begin to see patterns about their gambling habits. If this would help you, try writing down the time, day, date and place you gamble; who you were with; how much cash you were carrying or that you spent on your cards and your total win or loss. Why were you gambling? Did friends encourage you or were you alone? Were you bored, drunk, angry or stressed?
Set a limit on money spent
There are a number of ways you can choose to manage your money, depending on whether you would like to cut back on your gambling, or stop altogether:
- Set an amount that you can spend on gambling each week and withdraw only that amount
- When gambling, take your set amount in cash and leave bank cards at home
- If you have a win, stop gambling and “stay a winner”. Cash out your win and leave
- Ask someone else to help manage your money
- Give your credit and eftpos cards to your partner or someone you trust
- Set up automatic payments for household bills and withdraw only what you need
- Contact the Gambling Debt Helpline on 0800 654 658 and get them to arrange for you to see a budgeting adviser in your area.
It’s helpful to substitute your time gambling with other activities you enjoy. These activities could be new or things you enjoyed in the past, but gave up. Create a list of things you could do instead and put it somewhere to remind yourself. Spending time with friends or whānau is a great option, especially if you can avoid places where you’d be tempted to gamble.
Try to avoid going to the places where you gamble or only go there with friends and family who are not gambling. If that’s too tempting, try excluding yourself from a venue or multiple venues.
Under New Zealand law you can exclude yourself from most gambling venues, which can be a useful way of breaking gambling habits. If you identify yourself to staff at a casino or pokie machine venue as having a gambling problem, the venue operator must, by law, exclude you from the venue. This means both you and the venue operator can be fined if you enter the gambling area.
A local counsellor can help support you with the self-exclusion process. Call the Gambling Helpline 0800 654 655 for further information.
Alternatively, you can contact your local multi-venue exclusion coordinator for support with self-exclusions.
Some banks are helping customers take control of their online gambling. For example, Kiwibank allows customers to block transactions from online gambling sites. Speak to your bank about your options.
Sharing and talking
If you’re worried about your gambling, the best thing you can do is talk to someone you know and trust. Your friends and family may already be worried that something is troubling you and may even know it's gambling and are hoping you’ll reach out to them. There‘s also a range of free and confidential counselling and support services available to help you.