Gambling addicts struggle to control their gambling behaviour, leading to an escalating cycle of gambling regardless of their wins or losses. This addiction often results in financial and emotional damage, as well as difficulties in relationships. When gambling addicts attempt to stop or reduce their gambling, they may experience withdrawal symptoms such as nervousness, concentration problems, and insomnia.
Gambling addiction has long been assessed using the PGSI (Problem Gambling Severity Index), a tool that measures the extent of problem gambling within the past year and the associated negative consequences. According to THL, the PGSI test has been found to be well suited both for population studies and to support clinical work in identifying gambling addicts.
The PGSI test can be taken by gambling addicts themselves or by concerned loved ones on their behalf. The test includes nine questions that aim to identify whether gambling has become problematic or if there is a risk of developing a gambling problem. The test results are categorised into four options: no problem gambling, low risk, moderate risk, and problem gambling.
No need to write the answers by yourself
The average time to complete the survey
Indicate the risk or level of dependence
Gambling addicts often suffer from a number of negative effects. As compulsive gambling evolves into an addiction, gambling addicts often find themselves spending more money on gambling than originally intended. This financial spiral can quickly lead to growing debts, and in extreme cases, resorting to loans or borrowing from family members.
Feelings of shame are common among gambling addicts, who often tend to hide their gambling activities from loved ones. Over time, the addict's mental well-being deteriorates, and social relationships gradually suffer. The burden of shame and secrecy makes it challenging to recognize the progression of a gambling problem from an external perspective, and the threshold for seeking treatment becomes increasingly higher.
Seeking help for gambling addiction at an earlier stage significantly increases the chances of regaining control. Contact the experienced professionals at Contral Clinics, who are dedicated to helping individuals break free from addiction and providing support throughout every stage of treatment.
In Finland, the most common forms of gambling are lotteries, scratch cards, and slot machines. Around 3% of Finns suffer from a gambling problem, which is often a precursor to gambling addiction. In contrast, gambling addiction is a more serious problem for around 1.4% of Finns and risk gambling occurs in 11% of Finns. Gambling is more common among men than women.
At European level, Finland is one of the top countries in terms of the amount of money spent on gambling. According to THL’s study (2019) , the average amount spent by a Finn on gambling per week is €10.33. The average for men was €15.60 and for women €4.47 per week. The same study showed that 2.5% of players spent 50% of the total amount spent on gambling. Those aged 55 and over spent the most money on gambling and those aged 18-24 the least.
Prevalence of gambling
78% had gambled in the previous 12 months.
The number of people with a gambling problem
3% (around 112 000 people) had a gambling problem.
Has a loved one with a gambling problem
21% of Finns (790 000 people) have been concerned about their loved one having a gambling problem.