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Gambling Harm

Sometimes it makes a difference to have someone to talk to, someone who listens and doesn’t judge. We respect each person’s circumstances and provide free and confidential support to you and/or those around you.

If you or someone you know is concerned about gambling, we provide free and confidential services to support you

Seven types of gambling harm

The Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation published the project Understanding gambling-related harm which identifies seven types of harm experienced by people who gamble.

Gambling harm can impact you, a family member, a friend and the community in different ways:

  1. Relationship issues: creating a conflict within the relationship or emotional withdrawal from the partner.
  2. Health problems: increasing stress that could contribute to a range of health concerns such as reducing sleep because of worry.
  3. Emotional or psychological distress: creating regret or feelings of anger and hopelessness.

4. Financial problems: reducing spending on essentials including food, medication and education, and increasing problems related to debt.

5. Difficulties with work or study: increasing absenteeism and reducing performance because of tiredness or distraction.

6. Cultural problems: reducing the ability to participate in cultural practices or meet community expectations.

7. Criminal activity: committing crimes of negligence such as child neglect, crimes such as drug trafficking or prostitution to repay debts or crimes of opportunity such as theft and fraud to fund gambling.

Want to know more?

What is gambling harm?

Being informed of the risks and impacts of gambling harm can help you, your family or friends and the community to be safe.

Gambling harm starts when we have a sense that we are losing more than we are gaining from gambling, impacting negatively on your mental and physical health, relationships, family, work, time and finances.

If you feel that gambling is harming your life or you are worried about a family member or friend’s gambling, we can support you. Our services are free, confidential and available 24/7.

Want to know more about gambling?

Visit what is gambling?

What are the signs of gambling harm?

Gambling may not always cause immediate harm to you or those around you, and sometimes it’s hard to recognise signs when it is impacting on your life.

Getting help may be useful if:

  • It’s causing you distress.
  • You lose the money needed to buy the essentials.
  • You lose your car or your home because you gambled the money you needed to pay your debt.
  • It is affecting your sleep, eating, general health or functioning.
  • You feel confused and stuck and don’t know how to move forward.
  • Your family and friends have distanced from you.
  • You have gambled your savings.
  • You don’t know how to support your gambling partner, family member, friend or colleague.

Talking to someone who has a lot of experience in this field and empathises with you can be very helpful in feeling clearer and empowered to take charge of your life.

Want to know more about the signs of gambling harm and access more resources in the ACT?

Visit the Gambling & Racing Commission website.

Do you want to assess your gambling and know where you are now?

We know that recognising gambling harm might be difficult. Assessing where you are now can help you make informed decisions on what to do next.

The Problem Gambling Severity Index (PGSI) is a reliable and standardised measure of at-risk behaviour in gambling harm. It is a tool based on research on the common signs and consequences of gambling harm.

We invite you to think over the last 12 months and take your quiz.

How much gambling is too much?

Do you know how much time and money you are spending on gambling?

We offer you a tool to calculate how much of your income you spend weekly, monthly and annually on gambling.

The Gambling Help Online Calculator can give you a better picture of how gambling affects your life.

This is just an indicator of where you may sit.

ACT Gambling Support Service can assist you

We provide a wide range of accessible, responsive and effective services to prevent and reduce gambling harm. You can be anonymous when you contact us, providing as little or as much information as you prefer.

View our services