Over a third of those seeking support for problem gambling are Māori. That’s a statistic that doesn’t sit well with 20-year-old Brooke Stilwell. Passionate about creating positive change in her community, Brooke has championed an innovative public health intervention to raise awareness and tackle gambling harm in her community.
A new report has found pokies machines in small venues don’t offer the checks against problem gambling as those in casinos.
The Department of Internal Affairs employed a mystery shopper strategy using actors displaying the traits of problem gamblers.
Anthony Hawke, the Maori public health manager at Hapai Te Hauora, says the result was an indictment on the laws that allow the machines to go into bars and smaller clubs which don’t have the software and trained host responsibility staff available to larger venues.