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Hobby or addiction – problem gambling

Gambling is not necessarily risky, indeed it can be fun. Certain types of gambling have mass appeal, for example, the National Lottery, Bingo and famous horse races such as the Grand National, however problem gambling can have devastating consequences.

According to the NHS, there could be as many as 593,000 problem gamblers in Great Britain. Compulsive gamblers often suffer from low self-esteem, stress, anxiety and depression and may regularly spend all of their wages and savings on gambling.

As with all addictions, the gambler does not suffer alone. Gambling problems can remain hidden for a long time, but ultimately, relationships are put under pressure and some relationships may breakdown completely.

The Gordon Moody Association, a provider of therapeutic support to problem gamblers and those affected by it, estimate that for every problem gambler, at least ten other family members, friends and colleagues are also directly affected.

If you are concerned about your gambling problem and are not sure what to do, or you know somebody who has been affected by gambling, you can call our Health Support Line direct on 0808 168 5132 for advice.

For further information about gambling, including self-assessment tools, self-exclusion options and additional avenues of support, have a look at our Help with Gambling fact sheet.

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