Compulsive gambling or gambling addiction is an impulse control disorder where individuals have little control over their addiction, despite the risk of devastating consequences.  

We like a bet in this country; whether it’s playing the pokies or putting money on the horses or footy. While most Australians gamble for entertainment, thousands develop habits that cause harm to themselves, their families and even their communities.

The Productivity Commission’s Report on Gambling found that around 115,000 Australian adults experience problem gambling, with a further 280,000 at moderate risk of developing a problem.

Problem gamblers may find they have no money to buy food or pay their bills. They often experience health problems, such as stress, depression, anxiety and loss of sleep, and may be at risk of losing their family, friends, house or job.

People gamble at high levels for different reasons. Some do it to make money, others gamble to escape life’s stresses or fill in time when there’s nothing else to do.

Whatever the reason for a person’s gambling problem, the one thing that’s guaranteed is the longer someone continues, the harder it is to stop.

Need support for alcohol, drug or gambling dependency?

Independence is something we all strive for, but life rarely turns out as planned. Don't be afraid to reach out for help.

Search for a service    or    Ask us a question

Gambling Help hotline - 1800 858 858.
24 hours a day, seven days a week, this service is free, professional and confidential. It’s never too late to get your life back on track.

The Gambling Help website also contains advice, gambling calculators, assistance for non-English speakers and a support service locater.

Latest news, media & blog articles

Read about what we’ve been working on, our stance on important social issues and how you make a difference to vulnerable Australians' lives.

Founding Purpose - 'Inspired by Jesus Christ, Mission Australia exists to meet human need and to spread the knowledge of the love of God'