How Gambling Affects Your Life


Gambling involves placing something of value (typically money) at risk on an event that has an element of chance. Typical gambling products include lottery tickets, cards, casino games, dice, pokies, sports events, horse racing and more. If you find yourself gambling regularly, it is important to think about why and consider seeking help for any underlying mood disorders. Often depression, anxiety or substance use can trigger or make gambling problems worse. Counselling can provide you with a safe place to talk about how gambling is affecting your life and work through any problems.

Gamblers are usually motivated to gamble by the prospect of winning money and can be influenced by the psychological effects that come with making successful bets (e.g. the rush of adrenalin and dopamine). Additionally, gambling venues offer social settings where people can meet and interact with others. However, there is a range of negative impacts from gambling which affect more than the individual, including financial, family/friends, workplace, and community/society levels. Generally, these impacts are difficult to quantify and have been ignored in many studies of gambling impact.

While it’s possible to win a lot of money in the short term by betting, most punters will lose more than they gain. Betting companies know this and promote their products in ways that are similar to how Coca-Cola advertises its product, namely through television adverts, social media and wall-to-wall sponsorship of football clubs. Ultimately, the most important factor in stopping any gambling behaviour is recognising that you have a problem and asking for help.