Problem gambling

Print this page


Gambling involves staking something of value (usually money) on the outcome of an uncertain event where chance usually places a major role in the determination of outcomes. A wide range of commercial activities fall within this definition, including lotteries, electronic gaming (e.g., poker machines, video lottery terminals), casino games and sports betting.1

Problem gambling is characterised by difficulties in limiting money or time spent on gambling, resulting in various issues for the gambler, their partner, family, friends, work colleagues, and the community.2

Assessment of problem gambling will usually involve the administration of a screening measure or a structured clinical interview to assess the type and extent of the gambling problem, and to develop an effective treatment plan. Recommended treatment modalities include cognitive behavioural therapy, motivational interviewing, and motivational enhancement therapy, which have been shown to change the problem thinking and behaviours of the gambler and manage the social and environmental factors that reinforce the gambling behaviour of the client.

Psychologists are trained in these assessment and intervention approaches and individuals who are being negatively impacted by gambling could benefit from a series of consultations with a psychologist.

Access to the full document and downloads is available to APS members only.
Please login.

  • Contributor(s)
    APS Member Resources Team

    A/Prof Paul Delfabbro, PhD
    School of Psychology
    University of Adelaide
  • Publish date
    24 Jun 2013
  • References

We welcome your feedback.

How easy is it to find information on EQIP on a scale of 1-5 (1 being NOT EASY to find information and 5 being VERY EASY to find information)?
How useful was the information you found on a scale of 1-5 (1 being NOT VERY USEFUL information and 5 being VERY USEFUL information)?
If you have a suggestion for how EQIP might be improved or if you would like to suggest a new EQIP topic, please use the space below. If you would like a response to a query or suggestion, please email EQIP directly at