May 6, 2024 2 min read


NZ Study Suggests Link Between Problem Gambling and Crime

The most important finding was the importance of social services screening for gambling, according to experts

An unprecedented study on problem gambling in New Zealand has suggested that people struggling with gambling might be more likely to break the law. According to the results, gambling harm may be pushing over 10,000 locals to commit crimes every year.

The latest study was compiled by Auckland University of Technology Associate Professor Maria Bellringer and her team. After examining data collected over the last four years, the researchers identified some curious patterns.

According to The New Zealand Herald, the study says that roughly two in three people in New Zealand gamble at least once every year. A total of 4.5% of all Kiwis, however, take it too far and experience some degree of problem gambling.

According to the study, there are links between problem gambling and the consumption of alcohol, tobacco and drugs. Interestingly, excessive drinking was linked with a higher chance of starting gambling but so was stopping drinking alcohol.

Overall, the study concluded that people living in deprivation are as likely to engage in gambling as people who abuse substances excessively. Of importance, people who have reduced their social interactions or lost a loved one were also more likely to pick up gambling.

The latest NZ study on gambling also believes that problem gamblers are also more likely to engage in family violence.

Problem Gambling Foundation Highlighted the Importance of Social Services Screening

The new study was published in the Addictive Behaviours journal. Its publication follows the NZ government’s decision to regulate iGaming. While the measure received the Problem Gambling Foundation’s approval, the organization also suggested that a public health boost would be needed.  

However, Bellringer added that the findings of the study are not yet conclusive. According to her, the study couldn’t identify clear cause and effect. As a result, her team is still uncertain whether certain lifestyle factors are prompting riskier gambling or whether riskier gambling tends to be tied to certain lifestyle choices.

In any case, the professor concluded that the findings highlight the need to provide struggling people with treatment.

Andree Froude, advocacy and public health director at the Problem Gambling Foundation added that the most important finding was the importance of social services screening for gambling. Froude suggested that GPs, for example, should watch out for markets of gambling harm.


Although Fiona doesn't have a long-spanning background within the gambling industry, she is an incredibly skilled journalist who has built a strong interest in the constantly growing iGaming network. The team at is glad to have her on our roster to help deliver the best stories as soon as they hit. Aside from writing, she loves to dabble in online casino games such as slots and roulette, both for her own enjoyment and also as research to better improve her understanding of the industry.

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