Australians will place well over $15 million on the Cup, many placing a bet once per year, often in the last few hours before the race begins.  Gambling is fun to do from time to time and expected as part of the Melbourne Cup celebrations and entertainment, but for others gambling is not an occasional part of entertainment, it can cause distress, relationship and financial problems.

Problem gambling is when gambling starts to change aspects of your life: relationship problems, loss of a job, stress or depression, or gets in the way of parenting. People who develop a problem with gambling are often experiencing other issues in their lives that contribute to putting them at risk. Commonly a major life-event or stressful situation has occurred when the gambling started to get out of control. Gambling can be addictive and become a habit that is difficult to control even when you recognise that it is causing you and your family harm. People can develop a problem with gambling for many reasons. Knowing the reasons why gambling has become a problem for you is not necessary to change the problem, but can be helpful in understanding the nature of your gambling.

Online gambling has made it possible to gamble anytime and anywhere, home, work and when out. It is easier to have the gambling feel " less-real" betting with a credit card or linked account and being alone means there is no one to talk down a large bet or remind you to take a break and slow down.


How to recognise a gambling addiction?

  • Spending more money and time than you intend gambling
  • Missing school or work
  • Feeling guilty and ashamed about your gambling
  • Trying to win back losses, bigger bets placed to get the same feelings
  • Missing important things in life such as family time, work, leisure activities and appointments because of gambling, betting when you normally wouldn't, like lunch breaks
  • Thinking about gambling every day and when doing other things
  • Having arguments with friends and family because of gambling
  • Lies or stealing to get money for gambling
  • Getting into debt or financial troubles due to gambling, debts building up, being unable to pay bills
  • Worrying about another aspect of your gambling activities 

How to Get Help?

  • Admit or identify that you have a problem or may be at risk, but evidence shows that trying to stop completely or cut down without having any coping strategies on place can lead to the gambling increasing.
  • Talk to someone you trust about your gambling, it is a start to making a plan to cut down or stop
  • Block yourself from receiving free offers, incentives and marketing materials from gambling sites
  • Block gambling site from your computer ( ask a trusted support person to do this as it will help avoid the temptation to remove a filter)
  • Take betting apps off your phone
  • Call the Gambling Helpline ( 1800 858 858) They can speak to your confidentially and provide information and self help
  • Contact a gambling self-help service such as Gamblers Anonymous in your local area
  • Ask a friend to check in with you - a close friend?s support can help
  • See a financial counsellor to address financial concerns and make a plan to address debts
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