This section highlights the breadth of experiences of gambling harm across multiple domains of people’s lives, including financial harms, relationship-related harms, mental and physical health harms, impacts on work, economic activity, and criminal acts.
Some people were experiencing life difficulties, some were not. Some had other mental health conditions. However, all were harmed by gambling, irrespective of what went before. Almost everyone said they had thoughts of ending their life, and some had come close to or attempted suicide. This was because people felt so trapped by gambling that they had no hope of escaping and were so humiliated that they believed they were the problem and could not face other people.
Harm is pervasive and burdens lives long after gambling has stopped. Harms are complex and overlapping. Harm in one area of life contributes to harm in another part of life, so taken together, harm adds up to more than each area looked at alone. Harm extends out through families, social groups, and communities. Gambling undermines the ability of people and those close to them to function well and be part of society. Gambling causes financial, social, and digital exclusion.