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What are gambling harms?

They are the negative effects gambling can have on you. They can affect any or every aspect of your life: your mental and physical health, relationships, money, studies or job. They don’t just harm you, but often those around you.

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Gambling harms happen to you. They are not your fault.

Any level of exposure to gambling can make you vulnerable to harm, and it might not immediately feel connected to gambling. The gambling industry has designed products that make you want to gamble and keep you gambling even when it is bad for you.

There are many impacts

Knowing what to look for can be a helpful first step to identify gambling harms:

  • Not sleeping, feeling constantly restless

  • Feeling anxious a lot of the time

  • Not being able to take pleasure in ordinary things

  • Feeling stressed, irritable or angry about other people’s opinions

  • Not being able to stop gambling or thinking about gambling, despite wanting to

  • Feeling disconnected from people and situations

  • Not able to pay attention to people you care about

  • Feeling generally depressed

  • Feeling suicidal or thinking about being absent from the world

  • Constantly needing to check devices

  • Worrying about money and/or debt

Anyone can be affected

From young men to new mums, to established professionals and the elderly.

Whatever their faith or background.

Sometimes for a short time. Sometimes for years.

It’s different for everyone.

Find out how and where to get help
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Some gambling is more dangerous.

Some forms of gambling are more likely to cause addiction and harm. This can depend on structural characteristics of a product, its design features, the environment it’s played in and its accessibility. These factors impact addiction developing in the brain. The biggest indicators of harm are which gambling products you’ve been sold and how many times you’ve used them.

Information about gambling