The Problem Gambling Foundation’s mission is building healthy communities together, free from gambling harm.
The Foundation is committed to health promotion that contributes to safer gambling practices through community education and the development of regulations and standards. Counselling is free of charge to the gambler, their family and others affected by problem gambling.
PGF believes in:
Informing Change: By building a knowledge centre and disseminating information, individuals, communities and other service providers can work together to change the gambling environment in which we live.
Changing Lives: We provide a free, professional and confidential, quality counselling service for individuals, families and others affected by problem gambling. This service has focused on individual face-to-face counselling, enhanced by support groups. Although PGF services are free, donations are always greatly appreciated to support us in our mission to be free from gambling harm.
Changing Communities: Our Public Health team is the first dedicated team to work on problem gambling issues using a health promotion approach. They work collaboratively to raise awareness and promote healthy responses to gambling. Our Asian Family Service team works holistically with Asian communities to strengthen their resilience to problem gambling as does our Mapu Maia team for Pasifika clients.
Changing Environments: PGF supports the development of an effective and caring public health policy for the maintenance and regulation of gambling in New Zealand through advocacy and social justice.
The Problem Gambling Foundation of New Zealand (PGF) is a national non-profit organisation predominantly funded by the Ministry of Health with funds received from the gambling levy.
PGF is the largest single treatment provider for problem gambling in Australasia with 63 staff, 13 branch offices and 14 satellite offices throughout New Zealand. Qualified counsellors provide free, professional and confidential counselling services for both gamblers and others affected by gambling and a dedicated Public Health team works on problem gambling issues in the community using a health promotion approach.
PGF’s Asian Family Services provide professional counselling and advice in Cantonese, Mandarin, Korean, Vietnamese and Thai.
Mapu Maia, PGF’s Pacific unit, provide a dedicated, culturally appropriate service for Pasifika. Its focus is to work with Pacific communities educating and raising awareness about the harm that gambling can cause. Mapu Maia provide counselling and support for Pacific families in Auckland that need help with problem gambling.
The Problem Gambling Foundation of New Zealand began as the Compulsive Gambling Society (CGS) in 1988 with funding from the New Zealand Lottery Grants Board. The prominent psychiatrist Fraser McDonald helped three men who were experiencing problems with gambling establish the CGS because at that time there were no services available to work with gambling problems. CGS started out as a telephone service with the first national hotline of its type internationally commencing operations in 1992. As the need grew, services expanded to include face-to-face services and a second clinic was opened in Manurewa in 1993.
In 2001 The Problem Gambling Foundation succeeded the Compulsive Gambling Society, moving away from an addictions and medical-based philosophy to a public health approach.
PGF continues to grow and improve the range of services. The underlying philosophy of eliminating harm and the public health approach to problem gambling that started with the founding team, continues to underpin our work today.