Gambling is an activity where you risk money or something of value to predict the outcome of a game that involves chance. It can involve betting on a sports team or playing a scratchcard, for example.

When gambling is done in a controlled manner, it can be a fun and exciting activity. But if it becomes a problem, it can have a negative impact on your life.

A person has a gambling problem when their gambling causes them problems in other areas of their life. This can include financial issues, family relationships or work.

If you or someone you know is worried about gambling, it’s important to talk to a counsellor. They can help you understand why you or your loved one are gambling and how to stop it.

Identifying a Gambling Problem

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) lists gambling disorder alongside other addictive behaviors, such as drug and alcohol abuse. It also includes criteria to help professionals identify if a person has a gambling problem.

Treatment and Recovery

People with a gambling problem can get help through counseling, family therapy, or other forms of support. These treatments can help people address their gambling addiction, as well as underlying mood disorders and co-occurring conditions like depression or anxiety.

Gambling harm is a broad term that encompasses the types and breadth of harms associated with gambling, including the first time a person gambles, as well as legacy and intergenerational harms. The framework provides an opportunity to re-focus gambling related harms as an issue in public health, and to understand the wider impact of gambling on an individual’s life.