• Home
  • Causes of Problem Gambling

Causes of Problem Gambling


Gambling is an activity where you bet something of value on the outcome of a random event. Gambling can be enjoyable in moderation but for some people it becomes a problem, harming their mental health, relationships and work performance. It can also leave them in serious debt and sometimes even homeless.

The reasons for gambling can vary from person to person but there are some common features that can help explain how someone’s gambling behaviour gets out of control. These include an early big win, a false sense of control, the ability to escape boredom or stress and a poor understanding of random events. These factors contribute to gambling addiction.

Problem gamblers can also become trapped in a pattern of behavior that leads to more and more risk taking, more losses and a growing feeling of helplessness and desperation. They can start to rely on other ways of escape, such as drugs or alcohol. They can also become increasingly obsessed with a specific event or idea and develop an intense desire to recreate that experience.

To help break this vicious cycle, it’s important to build a support network and reach out for professional advice. This may include family therapy, marriage, career or credit counseling. You could also join a peer support group such as Gamblers Anonymous, which is based on the 12-step model of Alcoholics Anonymous. This can be a powerful way to learn about the causes of problem gambling and find your own path to recovery.