Gambling Harm Awareness Week ran from 4-10 September with a theme of ‘Whānau Fun - we can beat gambling harm together’. It was a good reminder that while gambling provides a source of entertainment to people, it can also be harmful; the campaign’s aim was to prompt people to think about their situation and ask “is your gambling still just for fun?”
The week involved a number of events across the country, including “Pause the pokies” which saw seven venues in Lower Hutt and eight in Whanganui turn off their gaming machines for one hour. The Hutt venues were The Fitzroy Tavern, Stokes Valley Cosmopolitan Club, Naenae Bowling Club, Wainuiomata Bowling Club, Te Aroha Pavilion, Angus Inn Hotel, and Strike. In Whanganui the Tandoori Spice bar, Shotz bar, Grand Hotel, Midtown Inn, Cosmopolitan Club, St Johns Club, Castlecliff Club and Wanganui RSA participated.
Venues reported some good conversations around the difference between enjoyable and problematic gambling and Fred Ferris, Manager of Naenae Bowling Club, said: “The Naenae Bowling Club was proud to be a part of Gambling Harm Awareness Week. We are dedicated to supporting and protecting our members and the community from gambling related harm. By recognising Gambling Harm Awareness Week, we are signalling the importance of the role of clubs in minimising harm from gambling.”