Gambling Helpline Aotearoa

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."

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?

The Gambling Helpline is run by Whakarongorau Aotearoa. You can take a look at our privacy policies here.

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.

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