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The effects of gambling

When you think of the effects of gambling, certain things spring to mind. Like financial worries, relationship difficulties and other serious issues.

But you might not be aware of the emotional effects of gambling, which many people experience no matter how much or how often they bet. These effects start off small and often build up, causing stress in our lives.

But they don’t have to. Because if you understand what’s causing stress, you can take the pressure off yourself or help a loved one do the same.

Gambling with your emotions

Gambling can affect how you feel. Think... is that true for you?

Gambling is all about emotions. There’s the fun of winning, the enjoyment of socialising or the familiar routine of some downtime on the pokies.

But there are other emotions too, like stress, regret and a little guilt, which most people feel at some point even if only briefly. It’s easy to forget about this side of gambling but these feelings often build up, even if you’re not gambling very much or very often.

And from there, you can find yourself feeling a little down – often without knowing why. You might be short tempered, easily annoyed or simply stressed. Suddenly, you’re feeling the effects of gambling.

It might not happen straight away, which is probably why many people don’t understand the negative effects of gambling. But it’s worth being aware that gambling is not all about the money. It’s about how it can make you feel and act.

How people are being affected

I know I probably drink too much on those occasions. The next day I often wish I didn't need those extra drinks to calm my nerves – Tyson, 29

Gambling effects checklist

Gambling can affect how you feel, no matter how much or how often you do it. Is that true for you or someone you care about? These checklists may help you answer that question.

Is my gambling affecting me?

Is someone I care about affected by their gambling?

How to reduce the effects of gambling

A good first step is understanding that gambling may be causing or contributing to your stress levels. You can use this insight to make choices that reduce the side effects of gambling that you feel, which might otherwise build and become much bigger.

For example, it can be helpful to keep track of the time and money you spend on gambling, and to make sure you don’t gamble for the wrong reasons. There are practical tips on how to do this effectively here.

You can also change things up and take a break from gambling with the free 100 Day Challenge app, or simply focus on spending more time looking after yourself and doing things that support your health and wellbeing.

If you’re worried about how gambling is affecting someone close to you, it’s a good idea to talk with a professional first because it can be difficult to find the right time and way to bring this up. You can call our helpline on 1800 858 858, our youth helpline on 1800 262 376 or use our online counselling service – they are all free, confidential and available 24/7.

Useful resources

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Gambling calculator

Ever wondered how much time and money you spend on gambling? Or how you compare to other Australians? This calculator will give you an overview of how gambling affects your life over a year.

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How to reduce your gambling

Follow these practical tips to help ensure that gambling doesn't sneak up on you.

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Money management

Consider these tips for managing your money to help you stop or cut back on gambling.

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Gambling can affect how you feel. Think... Is that true for you?