Gambling addiction

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.

Access our services in NSW

If you or someone you know needs help, call the Gambling Help hotline on 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.

For details on locations of our Gambling support services, please search our service directory.

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

For online counselling, information and support, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, please visit Gambling Help Online.

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