Problem gambling

What is problem gambling?

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Understanding problem gambling

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Gambling can take the form of pokies, lotto, scratchies, card games, racing or other forms of betting. Each year, 70% of Australians participate in some type of gambling, but for some, gambling can quickly become a problem.

Here are some facts about gambling:

  • The average amount a problem gambler loses per year is $21,000
  • People with gambling problems are six times more likely than non-gamblers to get divorced
  • Problem gamblers are four times more likely to suffer from alcohol abuse
  • Children with parents who are problem gamblers are up to 10 times more likely to become problem gamblers themselves.

What is problem gambling?

Problem gambling does not have to mean you are totally out of control. It's any gambling behaviour that disrupts your life, your relationships or the lives of your loved ones.

A common reaction is to minimise, hide or deny gambling problems and the harm it could be causing. Some people might also actively lie to themselves or others about how much money or time is being spent on gambling. For many, accepting that their gambling is becoming a problem can be difficult.

Whenever I had time, money or opportunity, I was mentally drawn to gambling.

When is gambling a problem?

Below are some signs that gambling may have become a problem for you.

  • Spending more money and time than you intend to on gambling
  • Feeling guilty and ashamed about your gambling
  • Having arguments with friends or family about your gambling
  • Lying or stealing to get money for gambling
  • Thinking about gambling every day
  • Trying to win back your losses
  • Missing important things such as work, family time or appointments because of gambling
  • Getting into debt or struggling financially due to gambling.

Download our gambling factsheet.

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