Problem Gambling

Problem Gambling

Australians gamble more, and lose more, than any other country in the world. In 2016-17 nearly $24 billion was spent on gambling in Australia. Gambling is designed to be a form of entertainment that for most doesn’t cause any serious issues. However, for some gambling can become an issue that starts to negatively impact on their wellbeing.  

Anyone can develop an issue with gambling however research shows that International students in Australia are at an increased risk.

Types of gambling

These types of gambling are commonplace in NSW:

  • Lotteries
  • Racing
  • Betting
  • Sports betting
  • Gaming machines (pokies)
  • Casino gaming
  • Keno
  • Bingo
  • Football pools.

Signs of problem gambling

Below are some signs which may indicate a problem with gambling. Some people with a gambling problem may display all these signs, a few or none at all.

  • Preoccupation with gambling
  • Gambling increasing amounts of money
  • Have repeatedly tried unsuccessfully to cut down or stop gambling
  • Becoming restless or irritable when trying to cut down or stop gambling
  • Gambling when feeling distressed as a way to escape these feelings
  • Chasing losses (trying to win back money lost)
  • Hiding gambling from family, friends and works colleagues
  • Borrowing money to gamble
  • Committing illegal acts to get money for gambling

Impact of problem gambling

  • Poor mental health including depression, anxiety and substance use disorder
  • Poor work and study performance
  • Relationship breakdown
  • Financial debt
  • Legal issues

Have I got a problem?

If you are worried about your gambling take this short online self-assessment. It is free and completely confidential.

Where to get help

A great place to start is Gambling Help Online which has lots of useful information and resources.

Once you are ready to get help these services may be useful:

UNSW Services


People who have an issue with gambling can ban themselves from gaming venues and online websites. Legally all NSW gaming venues must have a self-exclusion scheme in place. For information on how to self-exclude contact Gambling Help NSW on 1800 858 858.