If life in danger call Triple Zero 000
If life in danger call Triple Zero 000

Problem gambling

Gambling can take the form of pokies, lotto, scratchies, card games, racing or other forms of betting. Each year, 70% of Australians participate in some type of gambling, but for some, gambling can quickly become a problem.

What is problem gambling?

Problem gambling does not have to mean you are totally out of control; it is any gambling behaviour that disrupts your life, or the life of your loved ones. The impacts of problem gambling can be far reaching and may include:

  • Debt or other financial problems
  • Relationship problems
  • Loss of employment or problems at work
  • Mental and emotional health concerns
  • Negative impacts on family, especially children
  • Loss of control and addiction.

For many, accepting that their gambling is becoming a problem can be difficult.

Below are some signs that gambling may have become a problem for you.

  • Spending more money and time than you intend to on gambling
  • Feeling guilty and ashamed about your gambling
  • Having arguments with friends or family about your gambling
  • Lying or stealing to get money for gambling
  • Thinking about gambling every day
  • Trying to win back your losses
  • Missing important things such as work, family time or appointments because of gambling
  • Getting into debt or struggling financially due to gambling.

Taking steps to get help to overcome gambling problems can help you regain control of your money, time and life, and reduce the impacts on your mental health, family, and relationships.

  1. Identify that you have a problem or are at risk of developing a problem
  2. Talk to someone you trust about your gambling such as a close friend, family member, religious or community leader, GP, or other health professional
  3. Call the Gambling Help hotline (1800 858 858)
  4. Contact a support group such as Gamblers Anonymous
  5. See a financial counsellor (you can try our Service Finder).

If you are concerned about your gambling or someone else’s, below are some places to go for information and support:


For Crisis Support contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 or via text on 0477 13 11 14 (available 24/7).