Responsible Gambling

When does gambling become a problem?

Problems can arise when gambling gets out of control and becomes a distraction for unresolved personal problems. This can lead to gambling addiction. In this case, gambling is no longer a matter of spontaneous recreational pleasure, but has reached an alarming state: the suppression of fear, panic, depression and other negative feelings.

Pathological gambling has been recognised as a mental disorder since 1980. It is defined as consistent, recurrent and often excessive gambling patterns that occurs despite negative personal and social consequences such as debt, breakdown of social networks and occupational problems.

Diagnostic criteria for pathological gambling:

  • The disorder consists of frequent and repeated episodic gambling that dominates the affected person's lifestyle and leads to the deterioration of social, occupational, material and family values and obligations.
  • Repeated (two or more) episodes of gambling over a period of at least one year. These episodes do not benefit the person affected, but are continued despite psychological strain and disturbance of the ability to function in daily life.
  • Those affected describe an intense urge to gamble that is difficult to control. They describe that they do not have the willpower to stop gambling.
  • Affected persons are constantly preoccupied with thoughts or ideas about gambling or with the gambling environment.

If you want to find out whether you are at risk of problem gambling, take the Self-test!