How to Stay Away from Gambling Addiction

Stay Away from Gambling Addiction

14 min

You’re not alone in your struggles! Our team has prepared detailed materials for New Zealanders to stay away from excess gambling and how to treat it right!

How to identify gambling addiction

How to identify gambling addiction

Even though problem gambling has been decreasing in New Zealand, this issue remains a threat. Learn how to recognize the symptoms in each area of life!

Excessive gambling is an emotional struggle, it affects our social life and financial status. Stay informed and learn to prevent!

Financial signs

Your funds are vital to you, no matter your age, status, or goals.


Our team of experts is here to shed light on the negative impacts that gambling might end up having on your finances.

What are the most common attitudes that indicate a problem?

  • You always go over your gambling budget

In the back of their mind, every player knows how much money should they set aside for gaming. However, risk and problem gamblers do not keep their initial plan when it comes to spending.

The most obvious reason for these situations is related to the individual’s incapacity to stop their sessions when the designated money runs out.

This loss of control should be a major sign that you or a loved one are in the risk territory when it comes to online wagering.


All gamblers should do the math per their monthly finances and inclination for gambling and know before the sessions start how much money they want to spend.

  • You are behind on your bills

You are behind on your bills

Of course, excessive spending handicaps your normal pays for daily necessities such as utility or credit card bills.


People affected by this issue will often see electricity, tax, and bank bills pile up and eventually turn into notices.

Ask yourself if you have any vital things to pay before gambling!

In this case, the longer the problem lingers, the worse the situation gets. Unpaid bills come with extra fees and even the suspension of the service.

When it comes to banking, in the worse scenarios, the physical guarantees may be confiscated.

Be aware

Never spend money on hobbies and interests such as online gambling if you have unpaid bills or official debts of any kind.

  • You borrow and never return money from your friends

Of course, a shortage of money brings a lot of issues. Gamblers who can’t control their excessive play usually borrow money from close ones in an attempt to fuel their gaming even further.

What happens next?

Essentially, most of the funds borrowed are not given back to the original owners.

Discrepancies such as this will ultimately lead to tensions between the gambler and their inner circle.


Never, under any circumstance, gamble with money that is not yours!

  • You use punting as a way of solving money problems

You use punting as a way of solving money problems

Studies show that people heavily involved in gambling believe that gaming and betting may bring them closer to financial wealth or, even simpler, solve their money issues.

This is a myth, undoubtedly!

Except for rare cases when an individual is a professional gambler, gaming is done as a hobby, for relaxing and spending quality spare time.

You should never use it as a strategy for improving one’s finances.

Our team belief is that any serious money problem should never be entangled with betting or anything else of this sort.

  • You chase back your previous gambling losses

This is one of the most common mistakes that punters do, and New Zealanders should stay away from such behaviour.

Let’s think with a clear mindset!

By default, the nature of staking money involves an equal part chance of losing or winning.

It will be unproductive and illogical for someone to believe that a loss at the game table can be fixed by extra play.

Both lucky and unlucky streaks are just as plausible in any casino scenario.

Emotional signs

Emotional signs

Just like any other addiction, excessive gambling inevitably affects the emotional well-being of the New Zealander punter and the people around them, particularly the close ones.

What patterns may indicate excessive play?

  • Frequent mood swings

The risk associated with betting has been scientifically proven to link towards the reward system in our brains.

Thus, losses and frustrations from pokies or other bets will make the person moody, rude, and generally off-putting with those around them.


If you believe that someone around you acts weirdly because of the way they gamble, we suggest trying to get at the bottom of the problem by initiating open discussions.

  • Being in denial

Perhaps you have already heard of this behaviour concerning other issues. Gambling is no different in this sense. The vast majority of untreated cases remains as such because the gambler does not want to recognize that they have a problem.

What can be done?

Discussions and exposure to better alternatives are usually the methods that work best. However, each case is unique, so professional help may be needed and is encouraged by us.

  • Your bad mood affects your relationships

Your bad mood affects your relationships

If risk or problem gamblers are more likely to be moody, then, of course, this will eventually take a toll on the close bonds they have with others.

What cases have we seen?

Studies show that problem gambling is the cause of many permanent break-ups, divorce, and dysfunctional families.

The consequences of any untreated addiction are serious, and we support the common effort to a better approach towards help.


The problems of adults who are parents are irrevocably linked to the well-being of the minors they care about. Problem gambling is, therefore, not a solitary issue but something that needs to be fixed for the sake of more than just one person.

  • Gambling fills a void you have

The rush of betting is unmatched. Thus, the lack of it may cause a feeling of emptiness that each person will want to fix by betting more and more.

Our expert opinion on the matter

We strongly believe that gambling needs to be integrated responsibly into a balanced lifestyle. This should include quality time with loved ones, other hobbies, physical activities, and a balanced scale between work and spare time.


You can set aside designated time for gambling and decide beforehand how much time you want to spend in online casinos.

Social signs

Social signs

Unfortunately, even the most solitary of folks will see changes in their social life if their gambling has gotten out of control.

What are the most common occurrences?

  • Your work and personal patterns are disrupted

In terms of your social life

You might prefer to spend time at home gambling on your computer or smartphone than hanging out with friends or attentive social events.

In terms of your workflow

Your productivity and schedule are the most exposed parts. People in the problematic categories may frequently be late to class or work, miss days altogether, miss assignments and deadlines, and generally perform poorly at what they do.

  • You have problems with other types of addiction

You have problems with other types of addiction

Yes, gambling addiction is linked with other substance or emotional addictions, as specialists have demonstrated over the years.

This is not, however, a rule!

Not all risk gamblers necessarily have another problem with any other addiction. But it is more likely that the people who have control issues may be sensible to other different addictions.

What are the other addictions that are often seen?

Sometimes, alcohol abuse, light drugs, or playing a lot of video games are the things we see most often on problem gamblers.


Each issue, no matter how similar it is in nature with another one, requires special treatment and therapy done with the help of professionals.

  • You have broken the law in order to gamble

There have been no worrying studies from New Zealand when it comes to crimes and gambling combined.

But international studies particularly focused on the youth’s attitudes, have been witness to a link between petty crime and excessive gaming.

What petty crimes are linked?

Usually, small theft is the one that funds gambling. But like any other problem, it can become progressively worse, and it can be transformed into major theft of bank fraud or anything of the sort.


Many signs indicate a problem with online wagering. Almost all the time, a person that is going through an issue will exhibit more than one of the scenarios above. What about the solutions employed?

Steps you need to stop gambling

Steps you need to stop gambling

You can take matters into your own hands and solve your heavy involvement in gambling. Follow our guidance!

Set as many limits as possible!

The online New Zealand casinos we promote give you liberties in choosing the best limits that fit you and your lifestyle. We can’t guarantee that all platforms are this diverse in their ways, but if you find any or all of the following, please take the opportunity to use them!

  • Get into the right mindset

Before anything is done properly, you need to change the way you view things, particularly the way you see gambling.

How can you do that?
  1. Stop making gambling your priority;
  2. Take long breaks between sessions;
  3. Find other activities to stop gambling;
  4. Reach out!
  • Impose limits on your deposits

Impose time limits in your gambling

Top casinos NZ, particularly the ones checked and licensed by the United Kingdom Gambling Commission, allow players to choose how much money they want to deposit into their gaming account. The sum can be decided either daily, monthly, or weekly!

This is an efficient way to stop yourself from gambling more and more, and in some consequential way, it also limits the time you spend on the platform, as you’ll be unable to play after you have consumed your funds.

  • Impose time limits in your gambling

Online betting and wagering sites allow their users to limit the total time they spend engaged in the games from the lobby.

3 ways to set this:
  1. Daily;
  2. Weekly;
  3. Montly.


Casinos allow you to change your mind when it comes to past decisions. It may take a few days for the new changes to be implemented into an account.

  • Impose limits on your losses

Impose limits on your losses

Once set, the casino will not allow you to play when you’ve hit that limit. Probably one of the easiest ways to protect your funds is to set a sum of losses that you are comfortable with.

This is quite efficient for multiple reasons.

Of course, the most obvious one is because it keeps your funds safe and untainted by possible losses. Secondly, you don’t have to stress about the math you need to do constantly. The losses are the baseline that you can guide yourself on.

Distance yourself

You have to be proactive in your acts against excessive gaming. This way, we show you four ways to create a safe distance between yourself and the attractive online casinos that you want to visit.

  • Replace gambling with other activities

Replace gambling with other activities

Maybe you need a change of pace. This is why we advise you to try out other hobbies and activities outside the realms of online casinos and sports betting.

Guide yourself by your preferences.

The activity that you choose needs not to contain
  1. Constant spending of money;
  2. The feeling of chasing the prize;
  3. The sense of fierce competition;
  4. Any sort of bet or bet-like act.
Why are these off-table when battling gambling?

These feelings activate the same senses and neurotransmitters that activate when we gamble. For a clear and healthy separation, you need to back off these for a while.

  • Delete all your casino and betting accounts

Delete all your casino and betting accounts

If you have no virtual space to do such things, the opportunities definitely decrease so you can keep your record straight.

You can easily do that in just a few minutes on the casinos that we have promoted. Some even ask why you are choosing this definite move, and if you answer truthfully and say that you over-play, they will block your IP and e-mail from their server, so trying to start over will be impossible.


Most platforms have small guides about responsible gaming, so it would be wise to read those and follow each platform’s specific tricks.

  • Block the promotional materials coming your way

Casinos like to keep their clients up to date with the newest and hottest offers by sending them brief material via e-mail or SMS. You can easily change these preferences in your account settings.


Stop the casino notifications completely and for good, not just temporarily.

Sometimes, these pop-ups with offers come when you are logged in within the site. However, that should not be an issue if you suspend your account or self-exclude permanently.

Use open communication with your close ones

Use open communication with your close ones

As we have mentioned earlier, fixing this issue will need to be done through a joint effort of the gambler, their close one, and in extreme cases, medical professionals.

Here’s what you can do.

  • Open up to your family, friends, and peers

If you feel like you have gotten to the point that is hard to overcome by yourself, you need to share your struggles with the people around you.

You don’t have to let everyone know that you are in a delicate situation when it comes to your online bets. Pick a few people you trust and talk to them openly, so you can have a support system when it comes to your treatment and healing.


If you are young and have fallen into this vice of excessive play, try to reach out to someone with a little more life experience. They will know how to help you in efficient ways.

  • Reach out to special treatment facilities

Treatment of addiction is a serious business—this why we strongly recommend that you seek professional help. More and more research has been conducted on efficient therapies for this particular issue in the last decade.

What are the most used practical solutions?
  1. One on one therapy;
  2. Group therapy;
  3. Alternative therapy;
  4. CBT (cognitive-behavioral).

Now that we have walked our readers through the signs and the singular, personal solutions they can employ, it is time to go in-depth when it comes to the Kiwi-relevant solutions.

Where to reach out?

Where to reach out

We have done our research and uncovered a few trustworthy responsible gambling institutions when it comes to helping you with your gaming struggles.

Some of them are specific to New Zealand, and some are internationally approved.

New Zealand-specific opportunities

Sources Type of facility Ways to get in contact
The Ministry of Health (Manatū Hauora) Governmental institution Official website.
Health Navigator New Zealand Non-profit community Official website, Phone: 0800 611 116, Social Media
Help Promotion Agency Health organization Official website, Phone: + 64 4 917 0060, Email: [email protected]
Capri Sanctuary Private treatment residence Official website, Phone: 0800 227 741 / +64 9 298 8833
PGF Services Counselling organization Official website, Phone: 0800 664 262
Gambling Helpline NZ National helpline Official website, Phone: 0800 654 655, Text: 8006


Each of these solutions is efficient on its own, and the level of involvement on the part of the workers there is different from place to place. You need to do your research and see which one works best for you.

International organizations

International organizations

We know of two such places that have been working years on end to perfect methods of helping gamblers in need.

Please do not hesitate to contact:

  1. BeGambleAware is a UK-based gambling helpline with lots of programs and methods that help each gambler individually through personalized help.
  2. GamCare, a UK institution with over 24 years of experience in the industry. It can help you understand your situation, your available methods and guide you toward a better place.

Please do not hesitate to contact us for more information and details and ask us any questions you may have. We are at your disposal for a better betting experience and a healthy one, nonetheless.

Concluding remarks

Gambling addiction is a serious issue that affects lives every day. Our mission is to make it easier for you to understand it, preventing and treating it.

Please remember that each case is different, and our guide is meant to be taken as a baseline by New Zealand players. For a better experience, reach out to professionals and seek understanding and support from family and friends.

Gamble safely!


Anca Iamandi
AuthorAnca IamandiSenior Author & Editor at CasinoAlpha

Anca's analytical skills developed in Generative Linguistics allow her to bring you clear casino content. Her texts will help you understand online casinos, bonuses, fees, and essential rules, in order to forget about the gambling myths that pull you down. She's a strong advocate of safe gambling.