Recognising the Signs of Gambling Addiction

Gambling is putting something of value (like money or items) at risk for the chance to win something else of value. It can happen in a variety of ways, from buying a lottery ticket to betting with friends or strangers. Gambling can cause harm to health, relationships and work or study performance and lead to serious debt and homelessness. It can also make people feel sad and guilty.

It’s important to recognise the signs of gambling addiction so you can get help and support for yourself or a loved one. Common warning signs include spending more time and money on gambling than you can afford, hiding your gambling activity from others, lying about how much you gamble, or taking out loans to fund your gambling.

Problem gambling can impact anyone, regardless of income, social or cultural background, age and levels of education. It is thought that genetics, environment and medical history may play a role in a person developing a gambling problem.

Realising you have a gambling problem is an important first step, but it can be challenging to quit and stay in recovery, especially when temptations like casinos, online bookmakers and even television shows are all around you. It’s helpful to surround yourself with supportive people, set limits around your spending, avoid tempting environments and websites and find healthier activities to replace gambling in your life. Getting help for yourself or a loved one with a gambling problem is easier than you might think.