Gambling Risk Spectrum

This scenario-based activity provides the opportunity to discuss how different products and settings can be associated with different levels of risk and potential harm. It illustrates how risk associated with gambling exists on a spectrum, and invites participants to consider when and why people might move up or down on the spectrum.*



Materials to print:

Gambling Risk Spectrum cards

Gambling Behaviour Ladder


  1. Provide the group with a set of Gambling Risk Spectrum cards.
  2. Ask the group to put the cards in order from what they consider least risky to what they consider the most risky
    forms of gambling. Emphasise that there is no right or wrong answer.
  3. Go through the order they have chosen, asking them to guess what the odds are for each event.
  4. Encourage discussion about the drivers behind why people gamble, the products used, the frequency, the
    amount spent. Discuss at what point each of these scenarios could become harmful if they do not think
    the character is already experiencing harm. Mention that although not all of these examples are examples of harmful gambling, they are all realistic and illustrate how normalised gambling is in our culture.


Alternative options:

If it’s a big group, you could divide it into teams and use multiple sets of cards. You could also give 1 card to each person and then ask the group to stand up forming a line to visualise where they would place each example.

Possible Follow-Up Activity:

  1. Place each card around the room.
  2. In pairs or small groups, as the participants to write a relevant harm reduction tip on a post-it note and stick it to the card it relates to.
  3. Ask the group to share and discuss the tips they came up with and suggest any tips they may not have considered.

*Activity created by PSHE Association