Consumer Information

The following information regards your rights, the gambling laws in New Zealand, and other consumer information relevant to the gambling laws in New Zealand.

Self exclusion from gambling venues

Under NZ law (The Gambling Act 2003) if a person identifies themselves as having a gambling problem to an operator of a class 4 gambling venue (A casino or any venue with a pokie machine), the operator must issue an exclusion order for that person.

If you self exclude yourself from a gambling venue and go into the gambling area of that venue, the operator commits an offence and can be fined up to $10,000. You also commit an offence and can be fined up to $2,000.

Self exclusion can be a good way of breaking the gambling cycle if all else fails. Self exclusion works extremely well for Casino problem gamblers as Casino operators are very well organised with self exclusions.

In practice if you want to self exclude from a gambling venue you should do so in writing and supply the venue with a photo. Any face-to-face gambling counselling service should be able to help you with the mechanics of this. The Gambling Helpline 0800 654 655 can also help with the process and provide you with ongoing support.

3rd party Exclusion

If you are concerned about someone else’s gambling and it is creating problems you can approach the gambling venue operator to discuss these concerns. If possible it is advisable to provide some external evidence such as unpaid bills, bank statements etc.

Under NZ law (The Gambling Act 2003) if a person is identified as having a gambling problem to an operator of a class 4 gambling venue (A casino or any venue with a pokie machine), the operator may issue an exclusion order for that person.

If the gambling venue operator has reasonable grounds to believe a person is a problem gambler they must approach the person and offer information or advice to the person about problem gambling. They may after offering advice or information issue an exclusion order that prohibits the person from entering the gambling area of the class 4 venue or casino venue (as the case may be) for a period of up to 2 years.

What are the gambling laws?

For the latest information on NZ Gaming Law go to the Department of Internal Affairs website and select ‘gambling’

Your Health Rights

(a) Your Health information and the Gambling Helpline

What information is collected by the Gambling Helpline?

When receiving support from the Gambling Helpline you may be asked about:

  • Personal information such as your name, address and contact details
  • Additional information related to your direct, or indirect, experiences of gambling such as types of gambling that are causing the problem and your concerns
  • Other general information such as your age or ethnicity.
This information is needed to:

  • Help us understand your experiences
  • Provide you with the best possible care and support
  • Enable us to offer you ongoing co-ordinated support
  • Enable us to send you more detailed information in the post
  • Facilitate referrals to other agencies for more intensive one-on-one support.

 Where is my information stored?

The Gambling Helpline maintains a secure client database and your health and personal information is stored electronically on this database. The database is protected by regularly updated security technology.

 Who can access information about me? 

Gambling Helpline staff can access this information but are governed by comprehensive confidentiality clauses in their employment agreements which penalises them if they use this information for unauthorised purposes. Other access includes:

  • Contracted clinical advisors and associated problem gambling service providers, such as counselling agencies, are provided with temporary access at the Gambling Helpline under strict confidentiality procedures – no information is removed by these groups.
  • Some essential details will be shared with a counselling agency if we arrange an appointment in agreement with you.
  • The police or mental health teams may be provided with information about you if we think that you are at imminent risk of physically harming yourself or someone else. This is to ensure your safety and the safety of others.
  • The Gambling Helpline might be subpoenaed to give evidence in Court if serious criminal activity is involved, however, this is rarely undertaken by the justice system and at the time of this publication has not ever happened to the Gambling Helpline.
  • The Ministry of Health

What information does the Ministry of Health receive?

Since the 1st July 2005, the Gambling Helpline has been required to provide some demographic and health information to the Ministry of Health. The details of our conversations with you are not provided. 

For example, if you share with us that you are concerned about your daughter’s gambling and that you are also concerned for the affects on her children. The following would be provided to the Ministry of Health:

  • That you are a “significant other” (i.e. concerned about someone else)
  • The type of gambling that you think your daughter is undertaking, e.g. pokies
  • Your age and ethnicity
  • Your suburb, city or town of residence
  • Any results of a health screen (a score based on a series of standard questions) that assesses your level of health risk

The following details of our conversation are not provided to the Ministry of Health:

  • Your name and address or phone number
  • That your concern is to do with your daughter
  • Your daughter’s name or contact details or the names of her children
  • Any other background on your daughter
  • Details about your daughter would only be shared if she contacted us herself.

This information is only used to contribute to research and statistics regarding service development and usage in New Zealand.

This information is provided to the Ministry of Health as the Ministry funds problem gambling services to all New Zealanders free of charge. As the funder of problem gambling services, the Ministry of Health owns all information about users of problem gambling services, as with all other health and disability services funded by the Ministry. For information about the Ministry of Health’s strategic plan for preventing and minimising gambling harm, visit the website at The Ministry of Health and the Gambling Helpline are both governed by the Privacy Act 1993. 

Can I see the information held about me on the database file?

Contact our Privacy Officer about privacy related matters:
Phone: 09 354 7774

Postal address:
Privacy Officer
Homecare Medical
PO Box 105 346
Auckland 1010

The Gambling Helpline is run by Homecare Meical. You can take a look at our privacy policies here. Please provide your name, address, contact phone number and copy of some identification, e.g. drivers licence. Information will usually be provided within 20 working days of receipt of your written request or as soon as practically possible.

Some information may legally be withheld in certain circumstances, e.g., where your health or the privacy or safety of another person is at risk. If this happens you have the right to be told why the information is being withheld.

What happens if I think the information is inaccurate?

You have the right to ask that we correct any inaccuracies on your file but:

  • You may not remove anything from the file, or
  • Alter anything in the file.

If you would like something corrected, please see the contact details in the section above. You may wish to provide a written outline of the corrections you would like made and the reasons that you think the details we hold are inaccurate. We will consider your request and respond to you as soon as possible.

Concerns or complaints

If you have any concerns or complaints about the collection, storage or use of your personal information you may discuss these with:

  • The Gambling Helpline staff member who is supporting you at 0800 654 655.
  • The Gambling Helpline Manager (in writing to the address above setting out the details of your concern)
  • The Privacy Commissioner at 0800 803 909,


      Independent health and disability advocates are located all over New Zealand. Their role is to inform consumers about their rights when using health and disability services, and to assist consumers who have concerns and want to make a complaint. 

      Phone numbers for your local advocacy service can be found on the Health and Disability website Alternatively look up Health and Disability Commissioner under Government Department contacts in your local phonebook.

      (b) Rights when receiving a health service
      Health and Disabilities Code of Rights

      Right 1
      You should always be treated with respect, including respect for your culture, values, beliefs and personal privacy. 
      Right 2
      No-one should discriminate against you or push you into doing something or making a decision that you are not comfortable with. 
      Right 3
      Your care and treatment let you live a dignified, independent life. 
      Right 4
      Everyone looking after you should work together to make sure that you are treated with care and skill and that you receive the right services for your needs. 
      Right 5
      You have the right to be listened to, understood and receive information in whatever way you need. Where possible, an interpreter should be provided if you need one. 
      Right 6
      Your condition should be fully explained to you, to allow you to make choices for possible treatments. You should be given information on the benefits and side effects of treatments and told how long you may have to wait, who will be treating you and any costs involved. You can ask any questions about the services and expect an honest and accurate answer.
      Right 7
      It is your decision whether to go ahead with treatments or not and you are able to change your mind at any time. 
      Right 8
      In most situations, you can have a support person of your choice with you if you wish. 
      Right 9
      All these rights also apply when you are taking part in teaching or research. 
      Right 10
      You can make a complaint about any aspect of your care or treatment. You should be given information on the process involved in making a complaint.