National Gambling Helpline Freephone 0808 8020 133 8am-midnight 7 days a week

What causes problem gambling?

No one knows what causes problem gambling. Although there are relationships found between family gambling behaviour, age of onset of gambling, and experiencing a big win early in their gambling career, it is not possible to determine cause and effect.

This is further complicated by the fact that problem gambling is rarely found in isolation. Problem gamblers often also experience other problems, such as alcohol or drug addiction, alongside. This is known as co-morbidity. Genetic studies have found inheritable risk factors which support the notion that people may be genetically predisposed to develop impulsivity or addictive disorders. It is likely that developing a gambling problem is due to the interaction of various biological, psychological and social factors.

For help, support and advice about problem gambling please contact the National Gambling Helpline on 0808 8020 133 or via the NetLine.

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