Responsible Gambling

Helping You Stay in Control

What is gambling addiction?

Gambling addiction is defined as behavior that harms the individual or his / her family's existence, work, financial situation, and health. This means that long-term gambling is not suitable for the individual's personal situation and can have negative consequences.

Gambling addiction is also listed as a recognized mental disorder in the international classification systems DSM and ICD since 1980. It is defined as persistent, recurrent, and often increased gambling despite negative personal and social consequences, such as guilt, breakdown of social relationships and deterioration of professional development.

Whilst the majority of people do gamble safely and responsibly, for some, gambling can become a problem. When gambling, always remember the following

  • Gambling should be entertaining and fun and not seen as a way of making money
  • Only gamble what you can afford to lose
  • Avoid chasing losses
  • Keep track of the time and amount you spend gambling

If you are concerned about your gambling, then honestly answering the questions below may give you an idea of whether your gambling is problematic:

  • Do you stay away from work, college or school to gamble?
  • Do you gamble to escape from a boring or unhappy life?
  • When gambling and you run out of money, do you feel lost and in despair and need to gamble again as soon as possible?
  • Do you gamble until your last penny is gone, even the fare home or the cost of a cup of tea?
  • Have you ever lied to cover up the amount of money or time you have spent gambling?
  • Have others ever criticised your gambling?
  • Have you lost interest in your family, friends or hobbies?
  • Do arguments, frustrations or disappointments make you want to gamble?
  • Do you feel depressed or even suicidal because of your gambling?

The more you answer 'yes' to these questions, the more likely you are to develop a gambling problem.

Answer 9 simple questions to assess your gaming behavior and get instant feedback! Click here for Tools for self-help. Offered by the Center for Psychiatric Research, Stockholm County Council/Karolinska Institutet, on behalf of the Ministry of Social Affairs.

This page was last reviewed and updated: February 2022