Why do I gamble?
If gambling has stopped being fun for you and is starting to feel like a problem, you may find yourself asking why you gamble. But gambling doesn’t start as a problem. Most people gamble:
for a bit of excitement
as part of a social activity
to win money
to distract themselves from the pressures of work and family
for a safe place to go out of the house.
However gambling can change and grow without you noticing it becoming bigger in your life and that’s where it can become a problem.
How can you tell when your gambling is an issue?
Do you or someone you know do any of these?
- Gamble to avoid dealing with problems or disappointments
- Skip work or study to gamble
- Spend more time gambling than with family and friends
- Think about gambling every day
- Gamble to win money, not just for fun
- Gamble to win back money lost by gambling
- Feel depressed because of gambling
- Lie or keep secrets about gambling
- Borrow money to gamble
- Argue with family and friends about gambling or to have an excuse to go out and gamble
- Gamble for longer periods of time than originally planned
- Gamble until every dollar is gone
- Lose sleep due to thinking about gambling
- Don’t pay bills and use the money for gambling instead
- Try to stop gambling, but can’t.
- Become moody when trying to stop or cut down on gambling
- Try to increase the excitement of gambling by placing bigger bets
- Break the law to get money to gamble
Any one of these things might be a sign that you or someone you know may have an issue with gambling. Even if you’re just a bit worried about your gambling or someone else’s, it’s a good idea to get help sooner rather than later.
Take the test
To find out if your gambling might be a concern for you, take the Self-assessment quiz on the Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation website.
How gambling works
Most people gamble without any real understanding of how gambling actually works.
Do you know what the house edge and average return to player mean? Are you playing a skill-based game or is it just chance? Can you separate fact from fiction among the many myths surrounding gambling? What are your real chances of winning?
Before you decide to gamble, it can be a good idea to know how gambling works so there are no hidden surprises.