Gambling Addiction in South Africa

Gambling addiction is also referred to as problem gambling, compulsive gambling and ludomania. It is a disorder in which the gambler feels a very strong desire to constantly gamble regardless of knowing that they must stop because of bad consequences.

Gambling addiction in South Africa

What is Gambling Addiction?

Gambling addiction, like kleptomania, pyromania and compulsive shopping, is an impulse-control disorder. However, gambling addicts do not all behave in the same manner. The three main types of gambling addiction are problem gambling, compulsive gambling and binge gambling. Read on to find out how these variations differ.

Problem Gambling in SA

This type of gambling addiction is less extreme than the other two. Gamblers in South Africa who struggle with problem gambling can be described in many ways. Some of these include chasing losses, gambling often and not being able to or not wanting to stop and not lying to family and friends about it.

Compulsive Gambling SA

Compulsive gamblers have little to no control when it comes to their gambling habits. These gamblers keep on betting no matter how detrimental the consequences might be. They go to extreme measures to place bets, to the point of using their last money, rent money, borrowing money, etc.

Binge Gambling South Africa

Binge gambling is similar to compulsive gambling and binge gamblers are not as easily identifiable. The main difference is that binge gamblers have certain periods in which they behave like compulsive gamblers. Binge gamblers can go days, weeks and even months without gambling. But once they start, they behave like a compulsive gambler.

Signs of Gambling Addiction

Signs of gambling addiction are not always very obvious. Therefore, it is important for gamblers and non-gamblers alike to know what to look out for. Below are some red flags which gambling addicts usually set off in the midst of their struggle.

  • Chasing losses
  • Borrowing money to gamble
  • Feeling depressed because of gambling losses
  • Trying to quit over and over and not succeeding
  • Regularly thinking about gambling
  • Playing longer than planned
  • Lying to hide gambling activities
  • Doing illegal things in order to gamble
  • Gambling all their money away
  • Gambling constantly for the thrill
  • Losing out on sleep because of gambling
  • Not taking well to gambling less
  • Placing bets instead of paying bills
  • Gambling to avoid problems in life

Many people in South Africa have struggled with gambling. Because it is not easy for the gambler to break free from the addiction, it is important that their friends and family help them by getting the necessary help.

If you think you, or someone you know might have a gambling problem, contact the National Responsible Gambling Programme.

Call 0800 006 008 (international: 021 674 5830)

SMS 076 675 0710