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Why do people gamble?

“Why do I gamble when it causes so much damage?” 

“Why can’t I just stop?”

“Why am I putting myself through this?”

The answer is rarely a simple one.

Many people gamble as a fun past time, but for many others gambling can become a serious problem.

It can sometimes feel like the urge to gamble is completely out of their control. Many people find themselves unable to explain why they continue to gamble despite the problems it causes in their everyday lives.

You may be tempted to say ‘for the money’, perhaps for that ‘big win’, but this rarely the whole truth. When the gambler wins, more often than not they spend their winnings on gambling more, and keep going until they have nothing left. This can leave them feeling trapped, like there is no way out of the cycle.

Problems with gambling can often represent problems elsewhere in someone’s life. Perhaps they tend to gamble at certain times, or when they begin to feel a certain way – as a way of escaping from something else they are not ready to deal with yet. Gambling may also have been a part of someone’s life since they were young, and can make them feel safer for a short time.

We can help.

GamCare has lots of different ways to support you and your loved ones.

You can talk to our Advisers over the phone or via web chat, and they can let you know more about our treatment options.

You can also connect with others experiencing similar situations through our Forum and chatroom, or explore our self-help resources.

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