Assessment Of the Social Impacts Of Gambling in New Zealand

Report to Ministry of Health by Centre for Social and Health Outcomes Research and Evaluation & Te Ropu Whariki, Massey University.

Keywords: Health; Statistics;
“The report of the project Assessment of the Social Impacts of Gambling in New Zealand was primarily written by En-Yi (Judy) Lin and Sally  Casswell with analysis by Ru Quan (Ryan) You. Brian Easton contributed the material on the economic analysis of the social cost of gambling (pg 66 – 75) with analysis by Ru Quan You. Other SHORE and Whariki researchers who  contributed to this project are: Kay Hammond, Taisia Huckle, Melissa Girling, Lanuola Asiasiga, Helen Moewaka Barnes, John Huakau, Paul Sweetsur. Professor Jurgen Rehm advised on the project during a visit to SHORE. Lorna Dyall (Ngati Maniapoto), Lanuola Asiasiga and En-Yi Lin served as cultural advisors to the project.

“The total sample size of the survey was 7010 and the survey consisted of
            1) a general population sample of 4650 respondents, and
            2) oversamples to allow  for separate analysis based on 1000 respondents each for the Maori, Pacific and Chinese and Korean samples.
“Data collection took place from  May 2007 to November 2007 using the SHORE and Whariki in-house Computer Assisted Telephone Interview system (CATI). The response rate  was 62% for the general population sample, 74% for the Maori sample, 64% for the Pacific sample and 62% for the Chinese/Korean sample.”

The part of the Executive Summary which summarises pages 66 to 77 is
 “9. Social impact
“Using a no-gambling counterfactual scenario the analysis has suggested that  as much as a net 2.4% of the population (74,000 of New Zealanders) had an inferior state of reported mental well-being as a result of gambling in 2006 and 2007. The main source of these numbers are from those who used EGMs and the associates of heavier gamblers.
“Extrapolating from the survey, about 10,000 people (just below a third of one percent of the adult population) committed  illegal activities in the last year because of gambling. 
“Of those who had a reduced satisfaction  with their lives because of their  gambling, the largest contribution was from those who were using EGMs and those who were associates of heavier gamblers.”
The Key Findings were 
“The measures developed as part of this survey and the subsequent analyses  have provided results relevant to measuring the social impacts of gambling in New Zealand. 
“With regard to the measures of gambling participation and heavier gambling, the loss to income ratio distinguished between gamblers and predicted different ratings of quality of life in many domains. People with higher losses to income ratio had worse physical health, worse mental well-being, poorer relationships with family/friends, poorer feelings about self, poorer overall quality of life, lower overall satisfaction with life, poorer material standard of living, poorer study/training performances, and were less likely to be employed.
“In terms of the modes of gambling the  results show different ethnic groups experienced different impacts to some degree but the time spent playing EGMs in bars showed up as having an impact with all ethnic groups,  and in relation to many domains of life. It was also associated with criminal behaviour. Respondents’ self ratings of whether their quality of life in various domains had been affected by their  own gambling showed widespread impact. 
“This study has also provided evidence of quantifiable impacts of the effects of heavier gamblers on their associates. Close family members of heavy gamblers were most negatively impacted by their family members’ gambling. 
“Regarding the social costs of gambling in New Zealand, this study estimated that 2.4% of the population may have had an inferior state of mental wellbeing as a result of gambling and about 10,000 New Zealanders committed illegal activities in the last year because of  gambling. The main contribution came from those who used EGMs and those who had heavy gamblers in their lives.”

The full version of the report is at Assessment of the Social Impacts of Gambling in New Zealand