Overcoming Gambling Harm in the New Year

10 Jan 2024

The New Year can represent a time to start over or to make changes.

Many people make New Year’s resolutions to motivate them to pick up positive habits or move away from negative ones.

Your New Year’s resolution might be to make better financial choices, to reduce your gambling, to practise safer gambling, or to take a break from gambling.

In this article, we’ll share some tips on how you can overcome gambling harm in the New Year.


Effects of gambling harm

Many Aussies enjoy gambling as a form of entertainment. But when gambling becomes harmful, it can take a toll on different aspects of your life.

The Australian Institute of Family Studies has identified these areas of gambling harm:

  • Financial harm (such as debt)
  • Health harm (such as stress, depression, disrupted sleep)
  • Relationship harm (such as arguing, neglecting responsibilities)
  • Work/study harm (such as reduced performance, being absent)
  • Emotional/psychological harm (such as feelings of regret, failure).

You’re not the only one who can be affected. Your own gambling harm can also impact those close to you, such as your partner, family, and mates.


Overcoming gambling harm

Are you worried about gambling harm? By taking the right steps, moving forward is possible.

Steps to rebuild your life after gambling harm can include:

  1. Seeking professional support
  2. Avoiding triggering environments
  3. Filling the gap with other hobbies
  4. Setting short-term and long-term financial goals.


How to practise safer gambling

Changing your gambling habits can be a game changer. By practising safer gambling, you can minimise the chances of harm to yourself and those around you.

Here are some tips to practise safer gambling:

  • Set time limits
  • Set spending limits
  • Play for fun, not for profit
  • Avoid gambling under the influence
  • Avoid playing with borrowed money
  • Be mindful of your emotional responses.


Taking a break from gambling

Just taking a break from gambling might be less daunting than going cold turkey.

You may wish to take a break from gambling for financial reasons, mental health reasons, or family and relationship reasons.

Here are some tips to help you take a break from gambling:

  1. Self-exclude from online gambling and venues
  2. Take up new hobbies like exercise, DIY projects, or camping
  3. Stay clear of triggering environments, such as pubs with gaming areas
  4. Speak to a counsellor who can provide you with personalised support.


Support is available

If you’re struggling with gambling harm, free and confidential support is available.

Gambling Help Queensland offers free, confidential, 24/7 support and advice from trained gambling help counsellors. We help those who are impacted by their own gambling harm or by someone else’s.

You can speak to a counsellor or schedule an in-person session by calling the 24/7 helpline at 1800 858 858.

Contact us

If gambling is impacting your life or a loved one's life, it's okay to reach out for help. It’s free and confidential.

Call the 24/7 Gambling Helpline on 1800 858 858

Face-to-face counselling locations