MENZ Issues: news and discussion about New Zealand men, fathers, family law, divorce, courts, protests, gender politics, and male health.

Effectiveness of Problem Gambling Interventions

Filed under: Men's Health — JohnPotter @ 9:56 am Tue 7th November 2006

The Centre for Gambling Studies (CGS) is part of the University of Auckland’s Section of Social and Community Health and is committed to providing independent and quality research and learning, to minimise harm from gambling and to promote gambling related wellbeing within communities.
Are You Winning? Gambling Study (click for bigger version)

This research has been commissioned by the Ministry of Health to investigate the effectiveness of intervention services for problem gambling in New Zealand. The purpose of this research project is to provide a better understanding of the range of treatment approaches utilised in New Zealand and whom they are effective for.

The research is to be conducted over two phases:

Phase One: Qualitative Study

Phase One of the research sought to identify the range of services provided and the theoretical models used by problem gambling intervention services in New Zealand through qualitative interviews. It was also to understand what practitioners, service users and families considered as helpful and less helpful in terms of reducing harms caused by problem gambling.

Phase Two: Clinical Trial (This is what the current request is about)

The second phase aims to recruit 200 people who reside in Auckland, Hawkes Bay, Nelson and Christchurch and have concerns about their playing of pokie machines to investigate the effectiveness of two intervention modalities: face-to-face counselling and interventions over the phone.

Research Aims

1) Are these interventions effective in controlling gambling behaviours and reducing harm caused by problem gambling?
2) How effective are the interventions? What is the magnitude of the effect?
3) To develop and recommend processes and methodologies for a full-scale trial to extend research in this area.

Phase Two Research Design

The study will be described as “Xgamble” to all participants. The ‘X’ signals the fact that intention of this trial is to help participants to stop or control gambling. Additionally, the ‘X’ represents the four New Zealand population groups; namely, New Zealand European, Maori, Pacific Islanders and Asian peoples, who are the target population groups of the present study.

For further details please contact:
Dr Samson Tse
Director (acting), Centre for Gambling Studies, School of Population Health, University of Auckland
09 3737599 ext 86097
[email protected]


  1. John,

    I don’t get what you are trying to say.
    This sort of stuff is sooooo yesterday. They are already funding drug and alcohol addiction through gambling funding.

    But I will tell you something interesting. Society is losing their best counsellors (those that have walked the walk) because they will not pretend to be gamblers.

    Comment by julie — Tue 7th November 2006 @ 2:15 pm

  2. This information about gambling is trying to recruit individuals who may have concerns about gambling. The centre for gambling studies is trying to investigation the effectiveness of gambling interventions in new zealand

    Comment by Dr. Robin Shepherd — Tue 7th November 2006 @ 3:45 pm

  3. Dear Dr. Robin Shepherd,

    Oh my, Do you have your own centre? Geez. We have a centre for everything but for half the world’s gender. MALES!!!!

    How about you helping support my boys and all the other boys in NZ??? and why don’t you phone Odyssey House aftercare. It has been going for a year but they have people struggling with gambling (after long-term rehab) and people that have survived with gambling after 10 years. Some however go back to it after being extremely successful. But they do speak out to people like yourself.

    Comment by julie — Tue 7th November 2006 @ 4:45 pm

  4. Dear Dr. Robin Shepherd,

    I wrote my comment in a rush and realise it may not have made much sense to you. So, I just want to explain a bit better.

    Firstly, you really should talk to Odyssey House. (Aftercare) Ask to speak with Santina. If you can’t get her ask to speak to ViJay. You probably know about Gamblers anonamous. (some very sad stories there and some very positive stories)

    But besides your work, could you please be a voice to challenge males rights. We are living in a time where everyone is struggling to get funding to help those in society who need assistance but because we have gone so far (way too far) caring for women, we have hurt our males to the extreme. And our children are paying the price.

    Comment by julie — Tue 7th November 2006 @ 4:58 pm

  5. Julie says:

    I don’t get what you are trying to say.

    In general, I am supportive of any efforts to research effectiveness of State funded interventions. I did not mean to imply that there was any gender issue involved here – it just seemed like a worthwhile cause to promote.

    I encourage any men who qualify for the study to get involved and take the opportunity to get their gambling problem solved.

    I consulted with the MENZ medical advisory board (aka ‘the wife’) over dinner and am assured that Dr Tse has impeccable scientific credentials.

    Comment by JohnP — Tue 7th November 2006 @ 8:26 pm

  6. I was once diagnosed by a government psychologist in Australia as a ‘pathological’ gambler, so I thought from my own experience I would be suitably ‘qualified’ to comment on this subject.

    Government funded programs to combat gambling addiction are just politically driven rhetoric, to put it politely, to try and convince voters that they care. Yeah, right?

    If they were concerned about this then gambling would be illegal, all the poker machines would be recycled to produce something useful, like free games or educational consoles for kids in child care centres for instance. The plush, flash casinos would be closed and converted to something that would benefit people. Such as schools or hospitals perhaps? Do we NEED Casinos? Gaming venues?

    I read the government here collects $700 million a year in revenue from gambling. In Victoria, Australia, it is reported to be $2.4 Billion a year. Believe me, they do not want gambling addicts or venues gone. They do not want smokers or alcoholics gone either. Consider the revenue collected on these addictive products. Billions to the Treasuries….Easy money, Get people addicted!!!!!

    I realised my own addiction after several years of hell by adopting and implementing the Bhuddist philosophy. Everything is in the mind, and nowhere else!!! Once the nature of mind is understood, one then realises that there is no self, that there is nothing to attach to or push away. Everything is an illusion and nothing is real. Everything is temporary. We are generally taught in the western world that we have to become something, be ‘successful’ there is a self, ego, materialism, money, status. Buddhist philosophy is the opposite. The answer is mastering the self. The irony is that there is no self to master!!!

    To finish, here is one of my favourite Buddhist quotes. It always makes me smile…..

    A visiting Zen student asked Ajahn Chah, How old are you? Do you live here all year round? I live nowhere, he replied. There is no place you can find me. I have no age. To have age, you must exist, and to think you exist is already a problem. Don’t make problems, then the world has none either. Don’t make a self. There’s nothing more to say.”

    Regards to all


    Comment by Freethinker — Sun 12th November 2006 @ 11:27 am

  7. Hey Freethinker,

    I really like what you have written. It is true about the tax money and the greed of the Governments.

    The answer is mastering the self.

    Yes, And I agree about the mind also but,

    The irony is that there is no self to master!!!

    I don’t get that part???

    Comment by julie — Tue 14th November 2006 @ 9:17 am

  8. Hi Julie,

    Thanks for your comment. I wanted to relate how I overcame my gambling addiction and what I found worked for me personally. It was a terrifying experience, but I learnt so much from it. I appreciate though that everyone is different and what works for some may not work for others, of course.

    In order to understand whether there is a self or not is a complex philosophical enigma. I guess the maxim, “I think, therefore I am” would be apt in this context. Personally I agree with the view that because we are temporary, constantly changing beings, there is no essential self. A question I often ponder is where was I before I was born? I often like to think that part of me was in my father and part of me in my mother. I was in two places at once!!! LOL. But where was I before that then??? Logic tells me I wasn’t.

    The Buddha said that everything is a result of pre-existing conditions. Without our parents, we would not exist at all, same with them and their parents, ad infinitum. One could think back to the big bang and before that, ad infinitum. Was there a universe before that, and if so, where is it now, if it is or was at all?

    The Buddha also said that the cause of suffering is attachment. Thinking that this is my house, my car, my children for example. If we lose any or all of them, we suffer from the loss, as many of us that visit MENZ know only too well.

    My view is that everything we think we have or belongs to us, is simply on loan at best, it is not permanent, never was. Neither am I, you, and nor is anything or anyone else.

    The Buddha said, “Everything that arises, ceases”

    And that is the end of my post!!!

    Best wishes,


    Comment by Freethinker — Wed 15th November 2006 @ 3:42 am

  9. more experiments?

    Comment by wayne fergusson — Fri 17th November 2006 @ 10:19 pm

  10. Freethinker,

    You have found spirituality, I am sure. This Buddha sounds like a very amazing man and I am aware his thoughts are quite popular.

    I have been through alot of similar pain as you but I have the personality where I just go through life and discover as I go along. I am sure many here have done the same because I know we would not have made some of the decisions we did if we knew the trouble that was coming.

    Our lives are just too filled up with what is not real. All that I have ever had has never been me, what I look like nor what papers I have studied.

    I am something so much better than all that. I am some kind of fascinating energy and so are my boys, yourself and everyone else I meet. Sometimes I can’t believe that mankind or womankind has not figured out over thousands of years that people are what is important.

    Comment by julie — Sat 18th November 2006 @ 7:28 am

  11. I’m all for as much research as we can throw at this problem! Knowledge is power. We can’t act effectively unless we understand what we’re trying to deal with. But I do think there is a disproportionate ratio of study to action.

    [advert removed be moderator]

    Comment by Len McGrane — Mon 11th December 2006 @ 8:31 pm

  12. gambling problems are sometimes hard to cure, and it could lead to financial meltdown too …

    Comment by Lucas Parker — Wed 1st September 2010 @ 9:16 pm

  13. my brother has a gambling problem and he just burned a thousand bucks in one night *~~

    Comment by Round Kitchen — Tue 14th December 2010 @ 6:31 am

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URL

Leave a comment

Please note that comments which do not conform with the rules of this site are likely to be removed. They should be on-topic for the page they are on. Discussions about moderation are specifically forbidden. All spam will be deleted within a few hours and blacklisted on the stopforumspam database.

This site is cached. Comments will not appear immediately unless you are logged in. Please do not make multiple attempts.

Skip to toolbar