Problem Gambling 

Problem gambling is not just about losing money. Gambling problems can affect a person’s whole life. Gambling is a problem when it:

  • gets in the way of work, school or other activities

  • harms the person’s mental or physical health

  • hurts the person financially

  • damages the person’s reputation

  • causes problems with family or friends.

Not all people who gamble excessively are alike, nor are the problems they face. People with gambling problems are found in all age groups, income groups, cultures and jobs. Some people develop gambling problems suddenly, others over many years.


(CAMH, 2018)


  • Alcohol, Drugs, and Gambling Services (ADGS)

    • Alcohol, Drugs & Gambling Services, or ADGS provides information, counselling and programs on alcohol, drugs and gambling

    • For information call 905-546-3606 during office hours

    • To book a clinic appointment:

      • Call Intake Worker at 905-546-3606 and press option 4 for gambling

      • Drop in on Monday 2 to 4 pm or Thursday 9:30 to 11:30 am

    • Open Monday to Friday 9 am to 4:30 pm, Wednesday until 7 pm

    • Located at 21 Hunter Street East, 3rd floor, Hamilton


  • Halton ADAPT

    • Problem Gambling & Behavioural Addictions Program

      • Provide ongoing support to clients of all ages who are struggling with gambling-related issues and more. Treatment plans may include individual, group, couples/family counselling, as well as referrals to day treatments (see below), residential treatments, or utilization of other community resources

      • Counselling services are also available to the significant others and family members affected by the problem behavior of a loved one, regardless of whether or not the loved one is a client of ADAPT services

      • For information please contact 905-691-2687 (or toll free at 1-866-783-7073)

    • Problem Gambling Intensive Day Treatment Program

      • ADAPT offers a no-cost, 5-day intensive treatment program focused on gambling-specific issues.

      • Through education and support we strive to assist clients in building a successful foundation for healthy, long-term lifestyle changes

      • The program is accessible at several locations in Ontario and runs Monday to Friday, 9:30 – 3:30 

      • For inquiries or referrals please contact 905-691-0231 (or toll free at 1-866-783-7073)


  • HDGH Problem Gambling Services (Residential Treatment in Windsor, ON)

    • Problem Gambling Services has been providing gambling specific treatment since 1994

    • Designed to help individuals who are experiencing gambling problems, as well as those family members and friends who are being affected by problem gambling

    • Residential treatment services are available to residents across Ontario


  • Gamblers Anonymous (GA)

  • Peer-led self-help groups for those 16 years and older with gambling problems. For information regarding the Hamilton/Burlington groups, call 289-993-1508

  • For additional help, call the Ontario Helpline at 1-855-222-5542

Brain Connections - Understanding Problem Gambling

Offers downloadable handouts for clinicians and clients, which answers five different questions about problem gambling and the brain.


These questions are:

  1. How is problem gambling like an addiction to alcohol or drugs from my brain’s point of view?

  2. Why do people keep gambling even when it’s not fun anymore?

  3. Why is it hard to say ‘no’ to an urge?

  4. When I’m not gambling, why does it feel like nothing else – even activities I used to enjoy – will ever be fun again?

  5. Why do people sometimes switch from gambling to another addiction?

Each handout has four parts to it:

(1) a summary of the research to answer these questions,

(2) an activity to help you understand the information in the handout,

(3) a discussion question to help you think about how the information might personally apply and

(4) a take-home message summarizing the main ideas in the handout.

Responsible Gambling Council

Tips for Safer Gambling:

  • Don’t think of gambling as a way to make money.

  • Always gamble with money that you can afford to lose.

  • Never chase losses.

  • Set a money limit.

  • Set a time limit.

  • Don’t gamble when you are depressed or upset.

  • Balance gambling with other activities.

  • Gambling and alcohol are not a good combination.