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What Problem?

There are multiple reasons why you could develop problematic gambling behaviour. Harms from gambling are varied and diffused, and, unlike the more direct harms caused by physical illnesses or even substance abuse they can be difficult to spot.

Analysing all reasons and behaviours, experts in this field using research have linked the core reasons to 3 main groups:


You can control your spending and only gamble within your budget by setting your own daily and/or monthly bet limits. Once the limit is reached, no more bets are accepted and you’ll have to wait until the start of the next period to bet again.


Research shows some people tend to repeat certain activities, even when this repetition leads to harmful consequences. This is because people learn to anticipate some benefit from the addiction even though it is harmful. These benefits can include stress reduction, relief from boredom, pleasurable sensations or as a mechanism for cooping with negative feelings or situations


One component of gambling addiction is correlated to cultural acceptance. This acceptance can be transmitted in families from one generation to another. Children learn from their family members about games of chance. For example, a child sees their parents laughing and enjoying themselves while they are playing poker or getting a slot machine payout. Via association, the child may connect gambling to happiness.

The Circle

Compulsive gambling, like any other addiction is a cycle. It is important to realise this and understand the nature of the cycle to accept that it can be broken. Gambling addiction usually arises after that initial big hit, a big win and the excitement and adrenaline that goes with it.

Some problem gamblers feel that they can 'beat the system' and replicate the same success. This usually leads to more gambling, ultimately resulting in frustration, disappointment, and financial loss.

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Guilt Ritual Dependency

The Signs

Gambling Related Harm may be caused by underlying stress linked to a difficult time in a player's life, whether work, relationship or financially related, as well as having a personality where you are prone to compulsive behaviour. Without the correct support, some areas of life that may be affected include:

Emotional and mental health:

Including anxiety, depression, lying, instability, irritability, alcohol or substance abuse.

Physical health:

Symptoms including poor nutrition, upset stomachs, sleep disorder, headaches that can lead to eye strain and back pain.


The loss of a job, income or wealth, the inability to pay essential bills, increased debt and in extreme situations bankruptcy


Loss of trust, arguments, troubled relationships, separation, or divorce, and the loss of close friends are all possible outcomes.