Gambling Addiction Prevention

Gambling Addiction Prevention

Gambling, the act of risking something of value on a game of chance for a desired result, has become part of today’s culture and has been easily accessible, acceptable, and widespread through online platforms. Great Britain is one of the global leading countries when it comes to gambling, followed by Singapore, while Ireland and Candana are also close by (World Atlas, 2024).

Discover the early signs of gambling addiction and how you can prevent it all together to keep yourself safe!

Why Is Gambling Addiction so Common Nowadays?

Most forms of gambling, including online casino games, lottery tickets, sports betting and casinos, have been made more easily accessible because of modern technology. The accessibility and availability of these platforms pose a significant risk for the development of irresponsible gambling and addiction for UK residents.

According to the study conducted to determine ‘How Availability and Accessibility of Gambling Venues Influence Problem Gambling’ results showed that ‘The numerous and readily available gambling opportunities mean that avoiding this action is difficult for people with gambling problems (St-Pierre, Walker, Derevensky, & Gupta, 2014), and as gambling has migrated to the internet, it has become readily accessible via mobile devices (D. Clarke, J. Pulford, M. Bellringer, M. Abbott, and D. C. Hodgins, 2012). Consequently, many people who problem gamble suffer from related economic, social, and health burdens.

British responsible programs have been developed in response to increasing signs of irresponsible gambling and addiction in the community. The main aim of responsible gambling is to implement programs that support and monitor responsible gambling by operators implementing time limits, internal controls, and cooling-off periods, alongside providing help for gambling addiction through hotlines and educational materials. The responsible approach aims to prevent addiction and provide treatment services to those who are already irresponsible gamblers.

Prevention Methods for Individuals 

As players the biggest part of keeping your gambling responsible falls upon yourself. You need to be familiar with specific methods or strategies that can help you enjoy gambling responsibly. Our experts present you with some key prevention methods.

Setting gambling limit

Online gambling platforms of today allow you to set your monthly playing limit. This option encourages British players to play or bet responsibly. Even if you wish to continue to bet after reaching the limit, it will be impossible. Players who struggle to limit themselves will benefit from this setting.  These limits can include money and time spent on gambling sites.

Marionneau V, Ruohio H, Karlsson N. Gambling (2023) stated that a “survey study of Swedish active online gamblers showed that 95.6% of all gamblers viewed limit-setting positively. The same study showed that those who were not experiencing problems with their gambling were also not inconvenienced by pre-commitment measures.”

According to Auer, Griffth, and Hopfgartner (2019), “the amount of money spent gambling by the most players significantly decreased over 1 year after using limit-setting. This suggests that limit-setting is a good responsible tool for online operators to include in their portfolio of responsible gambling tools to help players keep better control of their gaming expenditure’.


Players must be encouraged to use the self-exclusion option if they notice that they are developing problematic behaviour. Self-exclusion helps players to take a break from playing. Players can choose if they need to take a monthly or annual break.

This type of gambling blocking measure is mostly effective on pathological gamblers who have lost control over their behaviour. According to, “Self-exclusion remains a popular harm reduction tool against problem gambling, more common than in previous studies, mostly in individuals with recent gambling problems and in online casino gamblers” (Hakansson and Komzia, 2023).

Gambling calculator

A gambling calculator is an app that you can download on your smartphone. British punters can use this tool to calculate the time and money that they are investing in gambling. This tool allows gamblers to keep an accurate count of the time and money spent gambling on a weekly, monthly and annual basis.

Once you notice any overspending of time or money in betting, then you can make an informed decision on how you can adjust the behaviour to avoid harm. This calculator can give you a better picture of how gambling affects your life over a year. (Gambling Help Online, 2022). It’s a good idea to reach out to any of the national help organisations if you feel that your gambling has turned problematic.

Risk Assessment and Awareness

Assessing yourself helps you as a player or gambler to be aware of your gambling behavioural patterns. The risk assessment tool helps you to recognise any development or availability of irresponsible gambling behaviour. Utilise the ‘Risk Assessment Tool’ to assess your gambling behaviour.

According to Gebauer, L., LaBrie, R. A., and Shaffer, H. J. (2010), “A three-question brief screening instrument that helps a person decide whether to seek a more formal evaluation or treatment of their behaviour. Clinicians can also use this with their clients to determine if a more comprehensive screen is necessary. This tool is developed by the Division on Addiction, Cambridge Health Alliance.”

  • During the past 12 months, have you become restless, irritable or anxious when trying to stop/cut down on gambling? – Yes/No
  • During the past 12 months, have you tried to keep your family or friends from knowing how much you gambled? – Yes/No
  • During the past 12 months, did you have such financial trouble because of your gambling that you had to get help with living expenses from family, friends or welfare? – Yes/No

If you answered No to all questions, congratulations, you are a responsible player and continue to play responsibly.

If you answered Yes to 1 question, it is advisable to look for further professional evaluation.

If you answer Yes to 2 to 3 questions, it is advisable to look for professional treatment intervention.

Social Strategies

Maintain active social connections and hobbies to avoid isolation. When players lack active social connections and hobbies, they become isolated and invest most of their time in playing or gambling. Boredom has been identified as one of the root causes of over-gambling among elderly people. When a player does not have other alternative hobbies, he/she turns to gambling as a daily activity, and this can lead to irresponsible gaming.

According to Grant, Donahoue and Odlaug (2015), “For many people, the problematic gambling behaviour they are engaging in takes the place of activities that they used to enjoy doing. Once you reduce engaging in your gambling behaviours, however, you will find that suddenly you have a lot of free time on your hands.”

Health and Prevention Education

Players must prioritise their physical and mental health by engaging in regular exercise, consuming healthy meals and giving themselves time to rest. This assists players in having healthy minds to avoid making poor decisions. It is the players’ responsibility to educate themselves and those around them about the risks of gambling under the influence of alcohol.

Players who play under the influence of alcohol make poor gambling decisions, which leads to irresponsible gambling. ‘Alcoholism and gambling addiction are an especially dangerous combination that can cause significant harm to an afflicted individual and their families’ (Auer M, Griffiths MD, 2023).

Prevention Methods for Gambling Operators

These methods need to be implemented by companies that operate within the world of online gambling, sports betting, casinos, etc.

Identification of problematic players

Some UK online gambling/betting apps are designed to inform a player when he/she is betting irresponsibly. Modern technology allows these apps to monitor gaming behavioural patterns. Pop-ups appear on the screen, warning players that they are overplaying and that they have lost a specific amount of money. If a player continues, the app will automatically hide the betting options to encourage responsible gambling and protect clients from irresponsible consequences.

Identification of problematic play is possible in online environments using algorithmic solutions that recognise play or spending patterns” (Marionneau, V., Ruohio, H. & Karlsson, N, 2023). Players/gamblers who have been identified as high-risk players can be contacted telephonically to receive help with their irresponsible gambling behaviour. This type of personalised help focuses on improving the playing or spending patterns of a client.

Feedback interventions refer to personalised actions that are taken based on identified problematic gambling patterns. Studies on feedback interventions have found that personalised feedback can lead to reduced gambling” (Auer M, Griffiths MD., 2023).

Online therapeutic interventions

Online players who develop gambling problems can easily access treatment options online. Either you need to use self-help tools that are designed for those who do not feel free talking to a therapist about their problems, or you can access a professional therapist online to help identify and manage irresponsible gambling behaviour.

Online self-help tools help problem gamblers fully identify the triggers that trigger them to gamble irresponsibly, uncontrollable urges that push them to become irresponsible players and offer them strategies that can be used to manage the behaviour.

‘Self-guided Internet-based interventions for problem gamblers are relatively recent treatment options and therefore lack strong empirical evidence for their effectiveness. However, available research evaluating online interventions for similar disordered behaviours, including problem drinking and smoking cessation, supports the potential utility of applying online interventions to problem gambling’ (e.g. Bewich et al., Citation2008; Cobb, Graham, Bock, Papandonatos, & Abrams, Citation2005; Dijkstra, Citation2005; Etter, Citation2005; Severson, Gordon, Danaher, & Akers, Citation2008; White et al., Citation2010).

Role of Family and Friends in Prevention – Fostering a Supportive Environment

Family and friends must respectfully normalise communicating with their fellow players/gamblers about the importance of responsible gambling and seeking help when necessary. Inform your fellow players about the negative impacts of gambling and offer support without taking responsibility for the gambler’s actions. Once family members and friends take responsibility for the gambler’s actions, the player will not recognise the importance of implementing responsible behaviour.

According to Gateway Foundation (2024), ‘Your loved one might be in denial about their problem, but you can help them recognise the seriousness of a gambling disorder simply by talking to them. Before you start a conversation, ensure you have a private, distraction-free space where you can meet with them. Also, be sure you’ll both have enough time to discuss each other’s concerns and issues. The person must have time to share their side of the story to feel comfortable opening up.’

Protecting and Supporting Children

Open discussions with children about gambling must be of priority, allowing them to express their concerns and ask questions freely. Protect them from underage gambling and make sure their needs are met. Teach them the importance of basic money management skills.

According to Maryhaven (2013), ‘One way to help reduce the risk of gambling addiction is to set family rules about how your children can use big and small screens and the internet. Your kids may be more likely to follow the rules if you make them together. However, some rules should be non-negotiable, such as not using your credit card for online gambling. This opportunity can encourage your children to use digital media for quality screen time, such as educational purposes.’

If you identify the signs of underage gambling in your children or minor members of your family, you can implement various parental controls to help them get back on track. It’s also crucial to ask for help from accredited British organisations that specialise in helping minors deal with their betting behaviours.

Seeking Support

Family members or friends who are coping with someone who is going through a gambling problem should seek professional help that will help them acquire more information on how to support and protect a problem gambler effectively. According to Cambridge Health Alliance Division on Addiction and Havard Medical School (2024):

‘Loved ones of an individual experiencing gambling problems might experience negative emotions, such as anger, fear, confusion, guilt, and hopelessness. Affected family members must know that they did not create this situation or cause their loved one’s gambling-related problems. Complicated feelings about their loved one’s gambling-related problems are common, many others have been through similar experiences and have recovered from gambling problems to lead happier lives, if their loved one has relapsed recently, and recovery is an ongoing process and relapse is a normal part of this journey.’


Our team presented online tools that you can use to learn responsible gambling behaviour.  In doing so, we hope to empower you with the knowledge to confront and address the challenges posed by addiction, thereby fostering a healthier, more conscious gambling culture. We’ve navigated through the essential role of responsible gambling, methods that can be used by players/gamblers and  operators, and the role of family & friends in preventing addiction.

As we part ways with this insightful exploration into the prevention of problem betting, let it remind us of the continuous efforts and collaborative measures required to safeguard our well-being and that of our loved ones in the face of gambling-related challenges. It’s important to reflect on the collective strategies and insights shared.


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