Do you want to know what factors contributed to your gambling?
Harmful gambling can happen to anyone, regardless of their background or personality. There is no single factor that contributes to the development of harmful gambling. Instead, it is usually due to a combination of multiple factors.
It’s important to understand what factors contribute to your gambling. This can help you identify effective strategies to minimise their impact on your life. By identifying the underlying reasons for your gambling, you can work on developing coping strategies and ways to manage situations that trigger your gambling. With the right support and strategies in place, you can take steps towards regaining control over your gambling.
Do you want to know what factors contributed to your family members or friend’s gambling?
If you have a family member or friend who is struggling with their gambling, it's important to understand that it can happen to anyone, regardless of their background or personality. There is no single factor that contributes to the development of harmful gambling. Instead, it is usually due to a combination of multiple factors.
It's important to understand what factors are contributing to your family member or friend's gambling. By doing so, you can help them identify effective strategies to minimise the impact of these factors on their life. Encouraging your family member to seek professional help, such as counselling, can also be beneficial in developing coping mechanisms and managing situations that trigger their gambling.
With the right support and strategies in place, your family member or friend can work towards regaining control over their gambling. Your support and encouragement can make a significant difference in their journey towards recovery.
Do you want to know what factors contribute to harmful gambling?
As a professional, it's important to approach people with empathy and understanding when addressing their harmful gambling. Harmful gambling can be complex and multi-faceted, so it's important to help them understand that there are various factors that can contribute to their gambling.
If you are working with someone who is experiencing gambling harm, you can work with them to help them identify their triggers and develop effective coping strategies to manage their gambling. Encouraging them to seek professional help, such as counselling, can also be beneficial in providing them with the tools and support they need to overcome their difficulties with gambling. As a professional, you can provide resources and referrals to connect them with appropriate services and support systems.
With the right support and guidance, they can work towards regaining control over their gambling. By working collaboratively with them, you can make a significant difference in their journey towards recovery.
What are risk and protective factors?
Risk factors can make a person more at risk of developing harmful gambling. However, not all people with risk factors will develop an issue with their gambling. This means that there are also factors that can protect people from developing harmful gambling. These are called protective factors.
What is the Conceptual Framework of Harmful Gambling?
The Conceptual Framework of Harmful Gambling is a model to guide our understanding of the risk and protective factors associated with harmful gambling. This model divides these contributing factors into two categories: factors that are specific to gambling and more general factors. To learn more about general factors such as cultural, social, psychological, and biological factors, go to General Contributing Factors.
What are gambling-specific contributing factors?
The Conceptual Framework divides gambling-specific contributing factors into the gambling environment, exposure to gambling, types of gambling and gambling resources.
What does the gambling environment involve?
The social and political environment in which gambling occurs influences people’s opportunities to gamble, the type, frequency and amount of their gambling, and the degree to which gambling can cause harm. Some gambling environment factors include:
Australian governments develop and modify policies to regulate where, when, and how gambling is available.
Some practices that can reduce harm include age limits, gambling licences requiring the industry to protect its customers, bet size limits, limit-setting programs, and making online and in-person brief treatments available.
Social responsibility refers to balancing the revenue made from gambling with practices to prevent or reduce harm. The gambling industry has a responsibility to ensure that gambling products are safe, that incentives to gamble are not offered, and that people are not served too much alcohol. It also has a responsibility to identify and help people who may be at risk of experiencing gambling harm.
What does gambling exposure involve?
The extent to which people come into contact with gambling influences whether they will develop harmful gambling. Some gambling exposure factors include:
In land-based venues, exposure to gambling can be limited by age restrictions and harm reduction practices. In contrast, exposure to gambling is enhanced through ATMs, flashing lights and appealing sounds, venue layouts, and readily available food and alcohol. Online gambling, which is accessible all the time from anywhere, is associated with a higher likelihood of experiencing gambling harm.
Greater access to gambling venues with extended opening hours in our suburbs, as well as the rise in online gambling that is available in any location 24/7, is linked to increased gambling participation, spending, and harm.
Gambling ads are on TV during sports and racing events and are all over websites, apps, and social media. Gambling websites and apps use betting information from players to effectively market gambling to them by sending them personalised ads, offers, bonuses and promotions. People often report that gambling ads and promotions influence their gambling.
Some online games include features that look and feel like gambling, which has raised concerns about a potential link between gaming and harmful gambling, particularly in young people. See our section on How Gaming Works for more information.
“If gambling isn’t in my face, I am okay” – Caller, Gambling Helpline
What do gambling types involve?
Some types of gambling have more potential than others to cause harm. Pokies are considered to be the most harmful type of gambling, followed by sports betting and casino table games.
Structural characteristics refer to the features that are built into each gambling activity. Poker machines have the highest number of structural characteristics because of their technologies. Gambling activities that are associated with the most gambling harm are those that have a fast pace and give lots of small wins. They may also have near-misses (when it seems like people are going to win but they don’t) or losses disguised as wins (when the winning amount is less than the bet). These activities may also use light and sound effects, allow people to bet on multiple games or place multiple bets) and use credits or chips instead of cash. They may also use bonus features like free spins or chances to win big jackpots.
People who take part in multiple gambling types often gamble more heavily and are at a greater risk of harm.
People who gamble to forget their worries have the greatest risk of developing gambling problems, followed by people who gamble for excitement and those who gamble to win money. People who gamble for social reasons have the lowest risk. See our section on Reasons for Gambling for more information.
What can gambling resources do for you?
Resources that can prevent or reduce gambling harm are available. These resources include programs to prevent the development of harmful gambling, and treatments to reduce harms after they occur. Many gambling resources are available in Australia, including:
Programs have been designed to limit exposure to gambling and protect people from gambling harm. These include information and education campaigns, self-exclusion programs, gambling behaviour tracking, warning messages, gambling venue staff training, identification of at-risk gamblers in venues, limit-setting programs, and school-based prevention programs. See our section on Gambling Self-Exclusion for more information on programs that allow people to ban themselves from specific gambling venues or online gambling sites for a period of time.
Support and treatment offered across Australia can help people who are gambling at harmful levels. Options for support include online chat, the Gambling Helpline, face-to-face counselling, financial counselling, email counselling, SMS support, and online forums. See our section on Seeking Support for more information.
Do you want more help?
To find out more about the factors that contribute to gambling, you or your family member or friend can start an online chat with us or call the Gambling Helpline on 1800 858 858 – free, confidential, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
These services are available to support anyone affected by gambling harm, including family members or friends like you. It’s not only the person who gambles that can be affected, but the people close to them too. It’s important to take care of yourself when you’re supporting someone else. Check out the family and friends section in our peer support community to connect with people who understand.
Do you want more help?
To find out more about the factors that contribute to gambling, you or the person you’re working with can start an online chat with us or call the Gambling Helpline on 1800 858 858 – free, confidential, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
These services are available to support anyone affected by gambling harm, including family members, friends, and professionals like you. It can be hard for professionals to support people with gambling issues. To learn more about how you can help, go to our section on How Professionals Can Help.