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What is gambling ‘addiction’?

The word ‘addiction’ gets casually thrown around, especially on social media. People even joke about being an ‘addict’.

But ‘addiction’ is a clinical term. That means it’s a diagnosis that can only be made by a healthcare professional who would follow up with a treatment plan.

We advise against using an internet survey to diagnose yourself as an ‘addict’.

But if you’re asking a question about addiction, it shows that you’re worried about your gambling. Maybe it’s bothering you. Perhaps you think of your gambling as a problem you’re not sure how to solve.

You might suspect that it’s causing health issues including anxiety or stress.

Perhaps you are:

  • kept awake at night thinking about gambling
  • feeling you’re out of control
  • building up debts you can’t pay
  • betting more than you can afford
  • feeling you can’t talk to anyone about your gambling
  • hiding evidence of your gambling activity.

If you’re worried about your gambling, you’re not alone. People from all walks of life – from sports stars to people you pass every day on the street – sometimes struggle with the time and money they spend gambling.

But you CAN talk to someone about your gambling at any time of the day or night. You can talk to Gambler’s Help about your worries or your feelings about being out of control.

Research tells us that any interaction with a help service, even if it’s just a quick phone call, can improve how you feel about yourself and your gambling.

Throughout the COVID-19 restrictions, Gambler’s Help services remain available 24 hours a day on 1800 858 858. In many areas, video calls are also available.

They can help you make a plan to slow down or stop gambling.

They can support you to stick to your plan.

They can help you protect your finances and get them back on track.

  • You don’t need a referral to phone Gambler’s Help.
  • The information you share will remain confidential.
  • Every single contact with Gambler’s Help is free.