What is pathological gambling?
Gambling is a kind of pastime for many people. About 90% of men in Hong Kong have
taken part in some sort of gambling, such as horseracing, mahjong, card games, lottery
and various other casino games. To a certain extent, gambling seems to be a part
of our culture. However, when a person's gambling behaviour becomes out of control
and characterized by a continual need to gamble, even when the person experiences
difficulties and distress from gambling, he may be suffering from pathological gambling.
Pathological gambling can affect people and people around him in many different
ways. Some common effects of gambling include:
What are the early warning signs?
The following signs may signal that someone may be developing or have developed
a problem with gambling:
How can I prevent it?
The best way to prevent your gambling behaviour from getting out of control is to
recognize the early warning signs of pathological gambling and to seek assistance
Social Welfare Department
Hotline: 2343 2255
Tung Wah Group of Hospitals
Even Centre: 2827 4321
Caritas Addicted Gamblers
Counseling Center : 2499 7828
Counseling Hotline for Problem Gambling: 2520 4933
(Monday to Friday 9 am to 6:30 pm, Saturday 9 am to 2 pm, recorded message at other
Industrial Evangelistic Fellowship
Rehabilitation Centre for Problem Gamblers
Hotline: 2748 7207
(Monday to Friday 9:30 am to 9:30 pm)
Zion Social Service - Yuk Lai Hin Gambling Counseling
Counseling Hotline for Problem Gambling:
(Direct Helpline) 2703 9811 / (General) 2703 9893
(Monday, Wednesday, Friday 2 pm to 10 pm, Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday 10 am to 6
Sunshine Lutheran Centre:
(Monday, Tuesday, Thursday 10 am to 6 pm, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday 2 pm to 10
What is the treatment?
Treatment for pathological gambling includes counseling to raise self-management
ability (see How can I help myself). A good counselor can help you to work out how
best to manage your gambling problem. In some cases, the doctor may prescribe medications
to control the feeling of anxiety or depression caused by compulsive gambling.
Remember: Understanding your gambling problem, taking steps to ensure your financial
security, and getting professional help are key elements to control your gambling
How can I help myself?
Gambling is a habitual behaviour. Breaking it may be hard but it is possible if
you are determined. You could try out the following self-management measures:
If you want to discuss your gambling problem but you do not feel comfortable talking
about it in front of others or with anyone you know, you can try telephone counseling
services which can give you opportunity to discuss things anonymously. Telephone
counseling has worked well for many men.
Answer the following 6 questions to see if you are addicted to gambling:
At least with one YES:
You may already be addicted to gambling. You are advised to review and control your gambling behavior.
You may seek help from below organizations:
Caritas Addicted Gamblers Counseling Center
Hotline :2499 7828
Industrial Evangelistic Fellowship Rehabilitation Centre for Problem Gamblers
Hotline :2748 7207
Zion Social Service
Hotline : 2344 8989 (2pm to 9:30pm from Monday to Saturday)
All answer is NO:
You are not addicted to gambling. However, you should watch out for any early signs of pathological gambling and to seek assistance when necessary.