The New Zealand government has launched a three-year strategy to safeguard customers and stakeholders in the expanding gambling industry in the country.
The Government’s strategy details several plans including residential care for the most addicted problem gamblers, peer-support networks and technology pilots, such as a possible facial recognition database and use of AI in keeping gambling addicts out of gambling venues.
Associate Health Minister Jenny Salesa, released the three-year strategy with a budget sending of $60 million. The entire project would be funded by the levy on gambling operators.
“The ministry will work with providers to develop and pilot a clinically robust model of care, based on intensive treatment for people experiencing severe gambling harm, but likely allowing for support for co-existing issues in addition,” the strategy document released said.
“Outcomes from peer services are as good as if not better than conventional services, yet there currently are no funded peer-support positions within gambling harm services.”
Gambling addiction has been increasing in New Zealand and many unlicensed illegal online gambling sites have also been putting customers at risk.
Majority of the illegal gambling websites targeting kiwis have .nz domain but are being operated from overseas. As such, they do not comply with the country’s gambling regulations.