Does the major part of your existence revolve around gambling? Do you sometimes try in vain to stop gambling? Do you lie about how much you gamble? Has your gambling had negative consequences for your family, friends or work?
Help is available
If you’re wondering whether your gambling has become a problem for you, you can contact the Support Line, by phone, email or chat. It doesn’t cost anything and you can remain anonymous if you wish. The Support Line is operated by the Centre for Psychiatry Research at Karolinska Institutet and Stockholm County Council on behalf of the County Council, and it has no connection with any gambling company. You can use the Support Line to talk with someone who understands you and the situation you are in. You can also obtain information about where to turn for help.
Pia kept her gambling addiction concealed from her family
Pia talks about how the memory of that first major win led to her gambling becoming more and more risky. She kept her increasing dependency concealed from her family and friends, but was eventually caught after stealing from her workplace.
What characterises gambling addiction?
At present there are 165,000 Swedes with gambling problems. But in contrast to other addictions, gambling problems are difficult to see from the outside. What is it that actually differentiates a problem gambler from other gamblers? Psychologist Jakob Jonsson explains what characterises problematical gambling behaviour and what leads to addiction.
Common questions about gambling problems
Get answers to common questions about problem gambling
There is no easy explanation why someone becomes addicted to gambling and develops problems. Research tells us, however, that the gambler’s personality, the availability of games, the design of games and the design of the gambling environment are all contributory factors.
Both gamblers and their families can contact the Support Line for advice, support and tips on where to turn for more help. In Stockholm, Gothenburg and Malmö there is outpatient treatment available for anyone who wants help to stop gambling. There are also self-help groups and gambling addiction associations in various parts of the country, at which gamblers and their families help one another to deal with their problems. Other municipalities can also offer support for gambling addiction; contact your municipality for more information.
Gambling problems exist in all groups in society, but the proportion who have problems with gambling is higher in certain groups. E.g. 75% of those with a gambling addiction are men, 25% are women. Young people, those born abroad and people with other addictions are also at higher risk of developing a gambling addiction.
It is estimated that about 2% of the adult population in Sweden have gambling problems. This represents about 150,000 people. Furthermore, there are an additional 5% in the risk zone for developing gambling problems.
Yes, there is. Casinos work proactively with responsible gambling and strive to make their guests aware of any games that involve risk. Casino Cosmopol offers self-exclusion or voluntary restrictions on visits during selected periods for gamblers who feel that they want to take a break from gambling, or simply to limit their gambling.
For a person with a gambling addiction, gambling is no longer a pleasure. Instead their entire existence revolves around gambling and various ways of obtaining money for gambling. As a rule they deny that gambling has become a problem and they can conceal their problems for a long time, from both themselves and those around them. They try to resolve their problems by chasing desperate wins, which has the effect that gambling fairly soon goes out of control. If they try to limit their gambling or to stop completely they become restless and irritable, and gradually start to gamble again, even though they have promised themselves that this would not happen. The gambler feels guilty and ashamed of his or her behaviour.
When relationships, work and finances collapse, the gambling addict often suffers even more guilt, shame and depression. Help may be needed from both families and outside parties to conquer the gambling addiction. The first step towards change is usually to dare to acknowledge that gambling has become a problem.