Taking the first step

Good on you for taking the first step to change.

At PGF Services we provide free, professional and confidential counselling for gamblers and families affected by someone else’s gambling. We also run education and support groups and provide assistance with self-exclusion from gambling venues.

Our experienced counsellors are here to provide guidance. They will help you set and reach your goals, learn new skills, provide information on the harms from gambling and help reduce chances of gambling relapse. You can bring a support person with you and whānau are always welcome in our counselling sessions.

Our approach in counselling sessions is to empower and encourage individuals and whānau towards wellbeing, and to be mana enhancing in all we do; caring for the spiritual, emotional, physical and intellectual needs of people and communities. We actively seek your feedback so that we can best meet your needs and aspirations.

Some things you can do today

Only spend what you can afford.
Remember that you are more likely to lose the money rather than win it. Put your rent, food and bills aside first, then work out how much you have spare and if you want to risk losing it.

Set your limits for time and money before you go.
Set boundaries to prevent spending more or staying longer. These may include leaving your eftpos card at home, setting your alarm on your phone, or paying all your bills first.

Try not to gamble when you are angry or upset.
Emotions like anger, sadness or a feeling of general stress make it more difficult to make clear decisions. This can lead to gambling more than you can afford and make you feel worse. If you are feeling low before you start, gambling won’t make you feel better.

Maintain physical and emotional wellbeing.
Take time for yourself in activities you enjoy that aren’t gambling related. Set some small achievable goals that enhance your sense of wellbeing. These may be to increase your exercise or improve your nutrition, or they may be spending more time with friends that support you and you care about.

If gambling interferes with your personal relationships.
If you spend too much time or money gambling you may miss out on other important events or activities, including spending time with the people you care about. Keep gambling balanced with other things you enjoy and other social activities. Some people used to have other activities but have dropped them as they have gambled more. Plan to go back to or start one other new activity this week.

Gambling is not the answer to any problem.
Gambling won’t make you money or fix something else in your life you are not happy with. Over time the gambling product or place always wins. Any other problems you have will probably only be made worse if you use gambling as a way to get away from them.


If you have someone you trust, such as a partner, a close friend or family member, consider handing over control of your finances to them temporarily. This may help you to start to make changes and address the gambling harms but remember this is not a permanent solution