What is problem gambling?

Gambling is betting money or something valuable on an event with an uncertain outcome. Problem gambling means that the gambling has a negative effect on the person who is gambling, their family and friends.

In Ontario, many kinds of gambling are legal.

These are common examples of gambling:

  • Lottery
  • Casinos
  • Bingo
  • Video Lottery Terminals (VLT)
  • Betting on horse races and other sports
  • Betting on card games
  • Investing in the stock market

Gambling is a problem when it affects you, your family, your friends and your community.

Problem gambling can affect anyone. It affects people of all ages, ethnicities, religions, occupations, and levels of income and education. 

However, as a newcomer, you may have specific risk factors that may make you more vulnerable to developing problems if you gamble. When you arrive in Ontario, you may deal with issues such as isolation, loss of financial and social status, loss of family and community supports and post-traumatic stress as a result of your pre- and post-migration experiences.

For More Information

  • ProblemGambling.ca - This website has information for people with problems with gambling, their families, and professionals working with people with problems with gambling. Some information is available in many languages. This online community is supported by the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH).
  • Problem Gambling: A Guide for Families - If you have a family member who has a problem with gambling, this guide is for you. Available in more than 10 languages. From the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health.
  • A Quick Guide to Low-Risk Gambling - Lists the signs of a gambling problem and has tips to keep gambling low-risk. Available in many languages.
  • Ontario Problem Gambling Helpline - Call 1-888-230-3505. Call the Ontario Problem Gambling Helpline (OPGH) for information about problem gambling treatment resources in Ontario.
Last updated: September 15, 2016 4001322