Gambling and how it affects the brain
When we have a gambling win, the brain releases a feel-good chemical called dopamine.
But when we gamble often, our brain gets used to the dopamine, which makes that winning feeling difficult to achieve. Consequently, we may have to gamble more and more to feel the same level of pleasure.
Some gambling products, like pokies and roulette, make us feel like we’re winning, even when we’re not. This encourages us to keep gambling to try to recapture that winning feeling.
Dr Jared Cooney Horvath is a neuroscientist at the University of Melbourne. He explains all this and more in these videos.
The brain constantly changes as we learn, creating associations and establishing patterns. This means it is never too late for us to change our brain.
Learn more in these videos
What are your experiences of gambling? Sharing stories with others can be helpful for them and for you. We’d love to hear your story.
Dr Gabriele Byrne retrained her brain and changed her relationship with gambling. She shares her story here.
We understand how gambling affects the brain and encourage anyone who needs help to access our free, therapeutic counselling and support.
If you’ve noticed gambling is stopping you from achieving the things you want to, it’s time to tackle it.Learn more
How to reduce your gambling
Follow these practical tips to help ensure that gambling doesn't sneak up on you.Learn more