In this section, people talk about the causes and consequences of the stigma and discrimination they experienced during their gambling difficulties.

They describe how the gambling industry frame gambling as a matter of individual choice and responsibility and harmless fun. This meant that people got the message that they were solely to blame for the harm they and those around them experienced.

Because gambling is about money, people say that this makes it hard for people to understand gambling as an addiction and adds a unique dimension to stigma.

People talk about what someone harmed by gambling looks like. They explain that anyone can be harmed by gambling. But they also describe it as the hidden addiction because the extent and range of people affected is not visible. This increases the stigma and shame felt by people harmed by gambling.

They could not understand why gambling was not treated in government policy like other addictive, harmful activities, such as alcohol, smoking or drugs.

People describe how the blame and shame people feel erode their mental health and self-worth and stop them from trying to get help. In this way, shame and self-stigma cause and worsen gambling-related harm.

You can navigate through peoples’ experiences by using the toolbar or by clicking on the links above.

I felt like I deserved it and I don’t feel like I deserved it now. And this comes back down to that industry narrative of putting all the onus upon the person who is addicted. You know, you play responsibly, you set these limits, you self-exclude.

I felt like I was in a bubble. No-one knew what was going on. I couldn’t tell anybody. You call it the invisible addiction, which is very kind of true.

When people say addiction, you automatically go to drugs or alcohol. Gambling’s not spoken about in the same way. The question I got, my first question was, “Why couldn’t you just stop?” Now, you wouldn’t ask that to a drug addict, you wouldn’t ask that to an alcoholic.

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.