COVID-19
The National Gambling Helpline is available 24/7 as usual. If you need advice or support about your
gambling or someone else’s you can call 0808 8020 133 or talk to an adviser on live chat.

Freephone 24/7
National Gambling Helpline 0808 8020 133

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.