Concerned About Someone?

Impact on Others

Concerned about the effects of someone's problem gambling? Find out more about how someone's gambling might be impacting on you and others.

Impacts of gambling

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It is estimated that for every person that gambles, another seven people are adversely affected.

 A person's gambling behaviour can have serious social, physical and financial impacts on those who are close to them.

A relationship with someone who has a gambling problem can be very stressful. Whether it is your partner, child, parent or friend, the behaviour and consequences that result from problem gambling can have a significant impact.

Types of impacts

Research shows that people who are close to someone with a gambling problem might experience a range of emotional, psychological and financial effects, such as:

 Emotional

  • Physical and/or emotional abuse
  • Relationship breakdowns
  • Lack of intimacy
  • Feelings of worthlessness
  • Feelings of shame and embarrassment

Psychological

  • Stress-related illnesses
  • Social isolation
  • Family arguments
  • Depression and anxiety

 Financial

  • Financial issues and hardship
  • Loss of property and valued items
  • Decreased work or school performance.

Thinking about the effect another person's gambling is having on your life is a good place to start in terms of managing the impact. Help is available for family members and others who are close to a problem gambler.

Impacts on children

Children can be affected by family dynamics such as stress and conflict.  Some common responses children may develop as a consequence of problem gambling include: 

  • Loss of trust as a result of lies, secrets and broken promises
  • Feeling depressed - children can feel powerless to deal with the problem and may blame themselves for the behaviour
  • Feeling anxious - children may feel scared of losing a parent due to separation or divorce
  • Loss of self-esteem
  • Social withdrawal and isolation because they feel different from others
  • Feeling ashamed, angry, hurt or lonely.

Problem gambling by parents and other significant adults can impact adversely on children. Getting help for a problem and regaining control of your life is an effective part of positive parenting.

Help is available for both kids and adults.

Next steps

If you are concerned about the impact of someone's gambling on you and/or your children, you can:

If you are a child or young person, contact Kids Helpline on 1800 55 1800 for help.