Te Rangihaeata Oranga Trust

Hawke's Bay Gambling Services


Frequently asked questions and important information about gambling

Click on a frequently asked question below find out more..

Can I gamble responsibly?

Gambling is a legal pastime in New Zealand. You can gamble responsibly if you remember:

  • Gambling is entertainment, not a way to make money.
  • Set a fixed amount to spend on gambling and never spend more than you can comfortably afford to lose.
  • Give credit and ATM cards to someone else to look after if you gamble regularly.
  • Use budgeting advice rather than gambling to help your family through a financial tight spot.
  • Know the odds. They are never in your favour.


When does gambling become harmful?

When someone's gambling changes from being entertainment to causing concern. No matter how small the concern, early intervention can prevent gambling related harm from getting worse.


What is harmful gambling?

Harmful gambling is when a person's gambling is causing harm to themselves or others. Typically this harm can cause emotional stress, financial strain, interpersonal relationship difficulties and workplace issues.


How does gambling get you hooked?

Gambling gets you hooked in a number of ways.

  • Gambling stimulates the brain through the anticipation of taking a risk. This creates excitement and changes physiological responses
  • Gaming venues create an immersive environment that makes you forget the outside world and continue gambling
  • Pokie machines, like all forms of gambling, are designed so that the machine, not the gambler wins in the long run
  • The Gamblers Fallacy:
    You haven't won all night, so a pay-out must be due. This is not true as you have no greater chance of winning than you did when you first sat down
  • The Near-Miss Effect:
    Pokie machines produce 'near miss' results to send a trigger to your brain the same as if you had really won.


Is gambling an addiction?

Problem gambling and Pathological gambling are recognised mental illnesses.

  • Problem gamblers experience occasional or regular gambling to excess, to the extent that it leads to problems in other areas of life
  • Pathological gamblers experience continuous or periodic loss of control over their gambling and with obtaining money with which to gamble. There is continuation of the behaviour despite adverse consequences.


Where does gambling money go?

Proceeds from gambling is split three ways

  • 31% goes to the Government as tax
  • 36% is taken as profits by gambling venues
  • 33% is paid in the form of grants.

A very small portion of profit, 0.2% for Lotto and 1.7% for pubs and clubs, is taken by the Government as levy to help fund treatment services and public health services that raises awareness to harmful gambling.


Who can use our service?

Everyone is welcome to use Te Rangihaeata Oranga Trust/Hawke's Bay Gambling Services. Our services are free and we help all people from all cultures and their families.

Harmful gambling is not necessarily a problem for life. People can, and do stop. The sooner people seek help, the sooner they can get back in control.