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Salvos Research Ad
Christmas 2009

Problem gambling support options

diceDo you have a gambling problem? Are you concerned about someone you know?

Problem gambling occurs when a person is dominated by a persistent strong urge to gamble. This is often coupled with a belief that continued gambling will solve their financial problems. Gambling excessively causes havoc to a person's life socially, emotionally and financially. It may lead to the loss of relationships, home, health and career and may cause depression and stress in a person’s life.

Anyone can become a problem gambler, and problems can develop quite quickly. This is not a problem that discriminates based on age, income, education, or ethnic background.

Identifying a problem

Problem gamblers are not easy to spot. Sometimes, by the time anyone realises there is a problem, the gambler has already reached a stage of financial ruin. Early identification is therefore very important. The Salvation Army’s free information booklet, Dealing with Problem Gambling, provides lots of helpful information in identifying a problem.

Here are some simple signs you can look for as a starting point if you’re worried about a friend, loved one, employee... or yourself:

  • Problem gamblers will have a pre-occupation with gambling.
  • They may want to borrow money to gamble or to obtain money to cover debts.
  • Their sleeping and eating habits may start to change
  • Problem gamblers may start to miss appointments such as work or a regular commitment.
  • Problem gamblers may start to express suicidal thoughts.
  • Problem gamblers may sometimes celebrate their “good fortune” by doing more gambling.
  • Problem gamblers may use gambling as a way of escaping their work stresses or concerns in their family life.
  • Problem gamblers can make their home lives unhappy and they may display remorse after a big gambling session. However, they will then return to gamble significantly again because they have developed a dependency on gambling. Read more

How to get help

  • Residential treatment program - The Salvation Army Bridge Program provides a long-term residential treatment program for problem gamblers in NSW, ACT and Qld. Find out more or contact a Recovery Services Centre near you.
  • Regional areas - People in regional and remote areas can call Salvo Care Line on 1300 36 36 22 to talk or seek referral advice.