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Commonly known as: betting, gambling, gaming


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People gamble for many reasons: the adrenaline rush, to win money, to socialise or to try and escape from worries or stress. However, for some people gambling can get out of control. If you find yourself betting more than you can afford to lose, borrowing money, or feeling stressed and anxious about gambling, you may have a problem.

Disordered or problematic gambling is in many ways the carbon monoxide of addictions.  You can’t see it or smell it the way you can with other addictions such as alcohol and drugs.  It is thought that for every person who is suffering from problematic gambling, 6-10 others are affected.

For individuals, gambling harms can result in loss of more money than is affordable, disrupted work performance, mental and physical health problems, lowered living standards, debt, bankruptcy and criminal justice problems. Other harms can include damaged personal relationships, as well as social and emotional isolation.


Worried about your gambling or that of someone else?

It is always a good idea to reflect on your gambling behaviour and ask yourself:

  • Are you betting more than you could afford to lose?
  • Do you chase your losses?
  • Have you felt guilty about the way you gamble or what happens when you gamble?
  • Is gambling affecting your relationships?

Or, Have you been affected by someone else’s gambling?

If your answer is yes, you may wish to consider getting some support.

Last updated: 31.05.2023

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Help and support to help manage gambling problems

See below for helplines relevant to gambling. To see our full list of mental health helplines, visit our helplines page.

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