Establish the motivation for gambling and determine the level of harm

Speaking to someone about their motivations for gambling can help you to establish:

  • When they are most likely to gamble
  • How they are feeling and their mental health
  • What else is happening in their life that they may want to discuss
  • The environmental factors involved

The Gambling Harm Cycle below highlights the cycle of gambling behaviour that may lead to a person experiencing harmful gambling. People can experience a series of changes to the way their brain works, similar to the way the brain functions with substance dependency. We can understand these changes as occurring in a cycle - this starts with participating in a gambling activity.

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You can use this Cycle to encourage the person you are supporting to express how they are feeling, or where they identify in the cycle at certain points in their day or week. This may help identify drivers and motivations for their gambling.

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To further examine someone’s motivations for gambling you could:

Ask them: How do you feel when you start to gamble?

Encourage people when watching TV or listening to the radio or scrolling
on social media to count how many gambling adverts they see in a certain time frame to become aware of the environmental factors.

Look at the Drivers and Motivators together (Section 3)

Go on a walk and count all of the gambling adverts and premises you see to become aware of the environmental factors.