Pacific churches encouraged to denounce gambling

There’s a plea for church leaders to play a greater role in reducing problem gambling in Pacific communities.

New research at A U T shows a major factor in determining whether Pacific people gamble, is the role church leaders have in guiding or intervening around gambling issues.

This calls into question churches fundraising through pokie and bingo events.

The Associate Director of the Gambling and Addictions Research Centre, Dr Maria Bellringer, says its time church leaders denounced gambling.

“Because they have a lot of authority, if church leaders were able to talk about the harm in problem gambling their congregation would listen to them. We need to dispel the myth that gambling is an easy way to make money.”

The research shows that the most popular forms of gambling among Pacific people are lottery tickets and pokie machines.

Cook Islanders had the most pressure to provide money from gambling for family obligations, and Samoan fathers were the least likely to gamble.

Radio 531 PI

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