Public Health and Gambling


A gambling binge can have both financial and emotional consequences. When a person can’t stop, gambling is considered a problem. This problem can affect any aspect of a person’s life. Therapy can help a person stop a gambling binge by reducing the urge to gamble. Cognitive behavioural therapy changes the way a person thinks about gambling. It helps the person develop new ways of thinking and managing the urge to gamble. However, therapy can’t stop the habit completely.


The debates surrounding regulated gambling are complex. Many countries have recognised the public health issues associated with gambling, but none have adopted a regulatory framework that explicitly addresses these issues and confronts their underlying dependencies and conflicts of interest. To this end, it is necessary to reframe the debates and engage with counter-discourses about gambling. The debates surrounding regulated gambling have traditionally been driven by individualised understandings that maintain the status quo while masking the harmful effects of the industry.


Despite being a highly regulated market, the UK still offers players non-regulated gambling sites. While they are not as secure or reliable as licensed gambling websites, British players can enjoy a higher level of security and protection. However, over-regulation can also drive players to unlicensed sites, as has happened in Sweden. In Sweden, the regulating laws have forced players to move from licensed gambling sites to offshore brands. It is vital that regulators keep in mind this risk.

Health hazards

While it is true that gambling can cause many negative health effects, a public health perspective on the issue is rare. The legal gambling industry is often governed by the ministries of finance, justice, consumer affairs, and health, and these roles often exclude public health actors from the development of policy. However, New Zealand has an explicitly public health approach to gambling that is reflected in the province’s Gambling Act. There are several reasons why this approach is important.

Signs of addiction

Financial problems are a common sign of addiction to gambling. Excessive gambling can lead to financial woes, relationship problems, and even job loss. Unfortunately, many addicts ignore the most obvious signs and continue to gamble, despite the consequences. Financial issues are often a sign of an addiction to gambling, and problem gamblers frequently ask family members or friends for money for their gambling habit. They may also lie about their gambling problem, or even tell themselves that they cannot afford to lose their money.


While there are many treatment options for people with gambling addiction, they can vary widely in effectiveness. Some of these methods may not be appropriate for each person and some are even not medically approved. Regardless of your current situation, it’s best to speak to your GP or addiction specialist to get the right guidance. Inpatient programs can be particularly helpful for those whose gambling problem is severe and interferes with their ability to lead a normal life.