The Senses of Gambling

This activity encourages people to imagine what a person experiencing gambling harm might hear, see, touch and feel when they are gambling and how these senses are used to motivate and encourage further gambling.




Flip-chart, felt-tip pens

Materials to print:

Senses Map

The senses of gambling


  1. Divide the group into small teams of 2 or 3 people and hand each team a Senses Map.
  2. The purpose of this activity is to encourage the group to think about how gambling uses gimmicks to excite and keep our attention. Ask groups to reflect on the various senses on the map, then describe or draw what the person is experiencing as it relates to gambling:
    • What does gambling sound like?
    • What does gambling look like?
    • What does gambling feel like when the person touches it?
    • How does gambling make them feel?
  3. Ask a spokesperson from each group to feedback and facilitate a discussion:
    • What are the similarities and differences between
      the senses?
    • Do you think the gambling industry have designed their products in a specific way?
    • What effect does this have on people?
    • Would the person be aware of these senses when they are gambling? If not, how could they become aware?
  4. If the groups are having difficulties connecting gambling to the senses, try the following prompts:
    • Sound: What noises would someone hear when they win and lose on the slot machines?
    • Sight: What colours and shapes the person see when they open their gambling app?
    • Touch: Do they use a pen to write down their football coupon or hold cards when playing card games with friends
    • Feel: Would the person feel excited when they win? Would they feel exasperated when they lose? How would they feel one hour after gambling?


Alternative options:

In some cases it may be beneficial to use the scenarios attached to open conversation. Some people find it easier to speak about someone else instead of their own experiences to start conversation.