Press releases

PR: Concern over young people gambling prompts awareness campaign

04 September 2023
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Concern over young people gambling prompts awareness campaign

The Problem Gambling Foundation is launching an online campaign during Gambling Harm Awareness Week, 4 to 10 September, to increase understanding about the risks of gambling among rangatahi/young people and encourage them to test their gambling if they think it could be negatively impacting their lives.

A recent survey revealed that 46 percent of youth aged 16–24 had gambled in the last year and a study into New Zealand secondary school students’ gambling found that one in three had participated in gambling at some point in their lives. Of this subgroup, 11 percent were worried about their own gambling.

Andree Froude, Problem Gambling Foundation Director of Communications, says gambling is becoming more normalised for young people and there is increasing concern worldwide about the crossover of gaming with gambling that has potential to put young people at risk of harmful gambling.

“We are seeing aggressive marketing from online gambling operators on social media platforms, an increase in sports betting promotion for large sporting events such as the TAB being official supporter of the recent FIFA Women’s World Cup, and game developers using gambling mechanisms like loot boxes within popular PC games,” she says.

There is a growing body of research linking loot boxes and a young person’s likelihood of experiencing gambling harm in later life. A recent paper examined loot boxes in 22 games rated as appropriate for audiences 17 years of age or younger. The results revealed that these loot boxes have structural and psychological similarities with gambling and that nearly half (45%) of the games analysed met all five of the psychological criteria to be considered a form of gambling.

The campaign launch will coincide with the start of this year’s Rugby World Cup and aims to educate people on how to block gambling advertisements and promote access to the e-screener “test your gambling” tool.

Andree Froude says the campaign aims to empower young people to make informed decisions and to seek help if they need to.

“It’s also helpful for parents to understand some of the risks associated with gambling and gaming and how it can impact their children,” she says.

To find out more about your gambling, take the test here.

Further information on gaming and loot boxes is available here and on how to block advertisements on YouTube is here.

Free and confidential support is available for anyone impacted by harmful gambling

For further information, please contact:

Andree Froude
Director Marketing and Communications
PGF Group
Ph: 027 489 4801


  • Gambling Harm Awareness Week is held every year in the first week of September and is the major awareness raising week for harmful gambling in Aotearoa.
  • Research shows that one in five New Zealand adults (22 percent) are affected at some time in their lives by their own or others’ gambling.
  • Most of the money spent on gambling in New Zealand comes from the relatively small number of people who play pokies.
  • Most people accessing gambling harm intervention services cite pub or club pokies as the primary mode of gambling.
  • Research shows that Māori and Pacific peoples, some Asian communities and young people/rangatahi disproportionately experience gambling harm.
  • Over $1 billion was lost on Class 4 pokie machines (in pubs, clubs and TABs) over the year to March 2023.
  • Online gambling is largely unregulated in Aotearoa with the TAB and Lotto the only two gambling providers who can operate legally in the country.
  • There are growing opportunities for online gambling, including those offered by overseas-based gambling operators, and their potential to increase harmful gambling behaviour. Our Gambling Act 2003 does not provide regulation for gambling on offshore online gambling sites.
  • People using overseas gambling websites are much more likely to be at risk of experiencing harm.