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ADHD and Gambling Online: Tips to Avoid Problem Gaming



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Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by persistent patterns of inattention, impulsivity, and hyperactivity. While these symptoms can pose challenges in various aspects of life, one area that is often overlooked is the potential link between ADHD and gambling.

Online gambling platforms have made it easier than ever for individuals to engage in gambling activities. From online casinos to sports betting, these platforms offer a variety of gambling options that can be accessed anytime, anywhere. However, for individuals with ADHD, the easy accessibility and fast pace of online gambling can pose a significant risk.

The thrill of online gambling can be particularly enticing for individuals with ADHD. The fast-paced nature of online games and the immediate gratification of winning can trigger a rush of dopamine, a neurotransmitter associated with pleasure and reward. This can momentarily help them feel more focused and the brain just wants more, leading to a cycle of gambling to chase that feeling of reward.


The Intersection of ADHD and Gambling

ADHD affects approximately 5% of children and about 2.5% of adults globally. On the other hand, problem gambling, also known as gambling addiction, affects about 1-3% of the population. Interestingly, studies have shown a higher prevalence of gambling problems among people with ADHD compared to the general population.

A study published in the Journal of Attention Disorders in 2016 found that adults with ADHD were almost three times more likely to have problem gambling behaviors. This correlation suggests that the impulsivity and risk-taking behavior often associated with ADHD may contribute to a higher propensity for gambling problems.

The Role of Impulsivity in Problem Gambling

Impulsivity, a common symptom of ADHD, is also a key factor in problem gambling. It’s the tendency to act on a whim, without thinking of the consequences: grab casino bonuses with unfavorable conditions, sign up for unlicensed casinos, take small loans to take part in gambling, etc.

A 2017 study in the journal “Psychiatry Research” found that impulsivity was a significant predictor of problem gambling among individuals with ADHD. The study also suggested that interventions targeting impulsivity could be beneficial in treating gambling problems in this population.

The Impact of ADHD Medication on Gambling

ADHD is commonly treated with stimulant medications like methylphenidate and amphetamines. While these medications can help manage ADHD symptoms, their impact on gambling behavior is less clear.


Some research suggests that ADHD medication could potentially exacerbate gambling problems. A study in the Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology in 2015 found that a group of patients on ADHD medication had higher rates of gambling disorder. However, more research is needed in this area to draw definitive conclusions.

Recognizing Problematic Gambling Behaviors

Recognizing the signs of problematic gambling is crucial for individuals with ADHD. According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5), someone could have a gambling disorder if at least four of the following have been true for that person within the past year:

  • A need to gamble with an increasing amount of money to get the same level of excitement.
  • Feeling restless or irritable when not gambling or gambling less.
  • Unable to cut back or stop gambling, even when trying.
  • Thinks a lot about gambling, remembering good experiences and planning future gambling activities.
  • Gambles to relieve stress, anxiety, depression, or guilt.
  • Chases losses, which means gambling more after losing to try and make up for the loss.
  • Lies about gambling activity to cover it up.
  • Has lost a job, significant opportunity, or had a relationship end because of gambling.
  • Asks other people for money to clear up financial problems caused by gambling.

Tips for Managing ADHD and Gambling

For those living with ADHD and choosing to gamble, it’s crucial to have strategies in place to manage the increased risk of developing a gambling problem. Here are some tips:

Practice taking a pause before you act: Make a plan with yourself that you will pause before starting to gamble. During this time, ask yourself questions, e.g., “How will this play out if I gamble right now? Is this the right move for me?” Building this pause-and-reflect muscle is particularly helpful with ADHD.

Set limits with your gambling: Use the tools available on many online websites to set a time or spending limit. Discuss your limits with someone supportive.

Get to know your “brand” of ADHD: Understand how ADHD affects you and your particular patterns with gambling. Figure out your risky times to gamble and how to manage them.


Seeking Help

If you or a loved one is dealing with ADHD and a gambling problem, it’s important to seek help. Medical professionals can customize a treatment plan that works for you, and a therapist can provide coping mechanisms. Many problem gamblers with ADHD have successfully controlled their gambling by planning each of their days to cut down on their impulsivity.

Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), a common treatment for gambling addiction, can be particularly effective. CBT helps individuals change unhealthy gambling behaviors and thoughts, such as the belief that gambling can solve their financial problems.

In addition to seeking help for ADHD, you can also get assistance in managing your gambling behavior from professionals. There are numerous resources available, including hotlines, support groups, and counseling services. Remember, you’re not alone, and help is available.

Use Tools and Apps

There are various tools and apps available that can help manage online gambling. These include apps that block access to gambling websites.

One of the most effective strategies for managing ADHD and online gambling is to set limits. This includes setting a budget for how much money can be spent on gambling and sticking to it. It also involves setting time limits for how long one can gamble in a single session.


Join Support Groups

Support groups can provide a safe space to share experiences and learn from others who are facing similar challenges. These groups can offer valuable insights and strategies for managing ADHD and online gambling.


The connection between ADHD and online gambling is a significant concern that requires awareness and proactive management. By recognizing the signs of problematic gambling, setting limits, seeking professional help, using tools and apps, and joining support groups, individuals with ADHD can navigate the world of online gambling safely and responsibly.

Compliance Updates

ClearStake awarded ISO 27001 certification cementing its position as a trusted financial risk check provider



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Real-time risk profiling tool provider ClearStake has been awarded ISO 27001 certification, the globally recognised standard for data protection and system security, cementing its position as a trusted provider to the gambling industry.

To qualify for the ISO 27001, ClearStake was required to actively demonstrate the successful deployment and adherence to a robust Information Security Management System (ISMS), as part of a rigorous two-stage accreditation process with an independent auditor.

A key endorsement when expanding across global markets, the certification proves ClearStake’s team is fully compliant with international data protection and security standards, which were most recently updated by the International Organization for Standardization and the International Electrotechnical Commission in 2022.


Martin Burt, CEO at ClearStake, said: “At the heart of what we do at ClearStake is building a secure environment for operators to handle and process data. As such, we are delighted to receive the ISO 27001 certification, which reaffirms our position as a reliable and compliant technology provider.

“This is a vital step in our growth as a company and will give clients further assurance that we operate to the highest standards.”

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Latest News

ProgressPlay brings forward the future of casino management with revolutionary AI



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Once again, casino and sports platform provider ProgressPlay are ahead of their time with a new wave of technology innovation that has helped the company to attend major shows during 2023 with soaring confidence based on pioneering proprietary technological advances that have featured strongly in annual awards shows.

The company’s future-centred thinking and ambitious AI product development attracted a raft of operators and partners attending last week’s SiGMA Europe in Malta. A raft of casino operators during the show had the opportunity to see firsthand ProgressPlay’s new tech which offers a comprehensive gaming management solution across multiple channels and products.

ProgressPlay’s enhanced iGaming platform provides operators with a powerful real-time AI-driven proprietary flow tool for optimising the performance of an online casino in a dynamic data ecosystem. Real-time player interaction provides compliance teams with the information to manage and interact with players.


Last year, ProgressPlay undertook an ambitious reframe of their technology with new proprietary Responsible Gambling automation and tools at its heart. ProgressPlay’s new platform manages player accounts, payments, bonuses, loyalty programs, fraud prevention and games, using robust tools and analytics.

ProgressPlay Sales Manager Marina Nahhas said: “ProgressPlay’s innovative Responsible Gambling software covers topics like KYC, player activity, affordability levels, and a transparent audit trail. These topics resonate heavily with operators and we were delighted with the level of engagement around this revenue-critical activity during the week we spent in Malta.”

ProgressPlay’s combo sportsbook and comprehensive turnkey solution, including casino platform, player management, payments module, and affiliate software are designed to boost operators seeking to effectively drive both revenue and efficiency with the latest cutting-edge technology.

Over 150 online casino brands have partnered with ProgressPlay covering a unique combination of casino games and sports-betting. ProgressPlay’s sportsbook offers up to 40,000 live betting markets and services across 20 languages while the latest platform offers a slick AI-driven UI/UX, and extensive value-added services alongside thousands of casino games, including slots, online casino, live casino, poker, table games, and sportsbook, across all devices and currencies.

ProgressPlay CEO Itai Loewenstein said: “Commercial agreements are being driven by our breakthrough technology that enables deployment of our AI tools for greater efficiency and revenue-generation. SiGMA Europe has been the last stop in a busy year and we believe that since we first launched our new technology in London at the beginning of the year our sophisticated Responsible Gambling tool has quickly moved beyond the early-adopter stage.”

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Latest News

Yggdrasil fires up festive fun with Rock Star Santa MultiMax™



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Leading iGaming publisher Yggdrasil has dialled up the Christmas cheer with a hellraising new hit, Rock Star Santa MultiMax™.

A 6×6 grid awaits players, with the cluster pays mechanic requiring five or more matching symbols to be conjoined for a winning spin. Every wining cluster is then removed from the reels, with more icons cascading down from above, and a wild also joins the party.

The multiplier at the top of the reelset will then increase, with the popular MultiMax Game Engagement Mechanic (GEM) swiftly seeing cascades cranked up in volume into massive wins. These can also combine if the cluster straddles reels, for supersonic rewards.


In addition, the Present symbol can land on any spin, awarding up to 100x, 11 free spins, or four extra wilds. This can also include an extra spin or an increased multiplier if it falls during the free spins.

Three or more Golden Ticket Free Spins icons will trigger the bonus round, giving players at least seven spins. During this, the multiplier at the top of each reel does not reset, allowing it to quickly pile up with every winning combination. Free Spins may also be gambled for the chance to win more.

The game also features two separate Buy Bonus options, depending on the jurisdiction, and a Golden Bet option, which increases the chances of a player hitting the bonus for an increased stake.

Rock Star Santa MultiMax is the latest core game developed by Yggdrasil, following recent vibrant releases Defenders of Mystica and Wild Stack Frenzy.

Mark McGinley, Chief Gaming Officer at Yggdrasil, said: “We’ve taken a different approach when it comes to festive hits and introduced the world to our showstopping Santa in our rocking new release, Rock Star Santa MultiMax.


“Incorporating a cluster-pays mechanic is an exciting addition to our portfolio, where we strive to deliver incredible experiences for our players.”

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