Gambling Triangle

This activity is best suited to 1-to-1 work with individuals who would like to reduce their gambling. It encourages practical reflection on how to reduce gambling by examining money, time and access to gambling.*


20-30 min


Flip-chart, felt-tip pens

Materials to print:

Gambling Triangle Print-out (optional)

Activity illustrations (7)


  1. Draw a large triangle onto a flip-chart with ‘Money’, ‘Time’ and ‘Access’ written in each corner. Alternatively you can use the print-out version.
  2. Explain to the participant that to gamble you require money, access and time. By exploring each of these aspects, you can reflect on how to reduce gambling and the risk of harm.
  3. Here are some ideas for discussion using each aspect of the triangle:

    Facilitate conversation around the participant’s finances. How much money is spent on gambling weekly/monthly/each year? Could this money be spent on more beneficial activities? How can a desired gambling budget be stuck to rigorously?

    Encourage reflection on particular times when the participant is more likely to gamble, which helps identify if time is a trigger for them. This may bring out if they are gambling to escape boredom, in response to adverts, from lack of social connection, as a coping mechanism, etc. Are there are activities or tasks which would fill the time usually spent by gambling, which could be more productive and support mental health and wellbeing?

    Talk through how the participant is accessing gambling. Are there any ways that they can plan to avoid or limit these access points? This may be a good time to raise gambling self-exclusion options, including installing blocking software, reducing access to marketing or approaching their bank to have gambling transactions blocked.

Alternative options:

The print-out can be handed out for an individual to reflect on in their own time.

Each of the three aspects can also feed into other points of discussion and help with setting long-term goals to encourage new habits.

Participants may find it helpful to discuss the ways that the society we live in, and its laws and culture, can make gambling more or less accessible.

* Activity from ‘Game Storming’ by D. Gray, S. Brown, J. Macanufo (O’Reilly Media Inc. 2005).