In this section, people who have experienced harm due to gambling talk about the changes they would like to see to prevent harm and addiction from happening in the first place.

People say that gambling must be understood as addictive, like alcohol, tobacco, or drugs. Like these, it can affect anyone. Because it is addictive, gambling interferes with people’s ability to make choices in their best interests and causes harm to people and society. Therefore, gambling needs to be regulated like other harmful and addictive activities and the same protections and services provided for consumers as in other areas. At the same time, gambling’s unique dynamics need to be understood and addressed – that it is about money, and the lack of physical signs and symptoms make gambling especially dangerous and harm intense and rapid in an ever-evolving gambling market.

People talk about how regulation has not kept up with the gambling industry. The government needs to make fundamental changes to regulation to make gambling companies act responsibly. Gambling companies will not change themselves, as this goes against how they make money. People say that bringing gambling regulation in line with other harmful industries needs to be accompanied by change across areas of public policy, financial services, and work – so preventing and addressing gambling harm is given the same value as for other addictions and health problems.

People say that current regulations and practices pressure individuals to “gamble responsibly”. Not using stigmatising language like ‘responsible gambling’ or ‘problem gambling’ is important but not enough. It is also not enough to tell people they should seek help early. This again puts the blame on individuals for not getting help without changing the things that make it hard for them to do so. The government needs to be clear in its messages, policy, and regulation that gambling is addictive and harmful. It should treat gambling like other health, addiction, or consumer rights issues.

Get Support

If you feel like you need support or someone to talk to about your own or someone else’s gambling, there are several organisations who can offer help, support and answer any questions you may have.

Take Part

We are inviting people to share their experiences of any kind of difficulties due to gambling.