Gambling is pretty ingrained in Australian culture, and many of us are exposed to it from a young age. Despite it’s prevalence, it doesn’t affect everyone in the same way.

There is no universal reason why gambling affects some people differently to others. We see people from all different backgrounds and walks of life that seek help.

There can be a multiple factors that impact on someone’s chances of developing problems with gambling.

Sometimes people find that other issues they are experiencing in their lives are the tipping point and they turn to gambling to escape.

A major life event or stressful situation may have occurred when their gambling started to get out of control.

Some examples include:

  • A big payout (retirement, inheritance, sale) – and having more disposable income around
  • Grief or separation  - losing an important person or connection
  • The breakdown of a relationship
  • Changes in physical health
  • Pain – physical pain can impact how we cope with life generally
  • Feelings of shame, depression, anxiety or stress
  • Loss of work – maybe due to redundancy or retirement
  • Isolation and loneliness
  • Major life events that cause major upheaval – e.g. children starting school or moving
  • Problems at work or changes in employment
  • Money problems.

You may ask, "Why does it matter when my gambling becomes a problem, I just want help?"

Identifying what may be pushing you towards gambling isn’t a magic fix, understanding what may have triggered the change in behaviour can help identify the way forward and particularly strategies that may help you. Read more about strategies in the Taking control page.

Once you start to get your gambling under control, it may be helpful to also look at these contributing factors, and ways you can offset their impact in the future.


While there is no universal type of people who have gambling problems, you may be more at risk of developing a problem if you:

  • Start gambling at a young age
  • Have a big win in the early stages of gambling
  • Are around gambling often and receive pressure from peers to gamble.

Remember even if you fit into one of these groups there are many strategies available to help you control your gambling. Read about gambling responsibly