What does harmful gambling look like?

Problem gambling does not discriminate and can be found in all age groups, income groups, jobs, and cultural backgrounds. Some may have developed gambling problems suddenly, while others may have struggled for many years. Problem gambling is not only about losing money, but is also harmful because of its potential devastating impact on the emotional, financial, and physical wellbeing of individuals who gamble, as well as their families.

While there may be no visible signs or physical changes to indicate a gambling problem, harmful gambling generally means that you have started to spend more money than you can afford, you might ignore work and family responsibilities because of gambling, borrow money or use household money to gamble, “chase your losses” to try to win back your money, feel depressed or angry after gambling, or when you see gambling as the only solution to your problems.

If you think you have a problem with gambling, or if you want to know more, a gambling counsellor can be found by calling Gambling Help on 1800 858 858. Free individual sessions are available to anybody who might be concerned their gambling has gotten out of hand. Getting help for problem gambling takes guts – You’re Stronger Than You Think.

The Gambling Help website has a range of free resources and self-help tools available to download or order, as well as new community support forums where you can share your experiences and hear from others who are in similar situations. Visit www.gamblinghelp.nsw.gov.au/forum to join the conversation.

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