The Conceptual Framework of Harmful Gambling is an international collaboration sponsored by GREO.

While seen by many as a form of leisure and recreation, gambling can have serious repercussions for individuals, families, and society as a whole. The harmful effects of gambling have been studied for decades to attempt to understand individual differences in gambling engagement and the life- course of gambling-related problems.

In this framework, we present a comprehensive, internationally relevant conceptual framework of “harmful gambling” that moves beyond a symptoms-based view of harm and addresses a broad set of factors related to population risk, community and societal effects. Interactive factors represented in the framework represent major themes in gambling that range from specific (gambling environment, exposure, types, and resources) to general (cultural, social, psychological, and biological).

This framework has been created by international and interdisciplinary experts from a variety of stakeholder perspectives – including researchers, treatment providers, operators, policy makers, and individuals and their families – to facilitate an understanding of harmful gambling.

The key objectives of the Framework are to:

  • reflect for all readers the state of knowledge of the factors influencing harmful gambling;
  • assist researchers, treatment providers, policy makers, and regulators to better understand the complex dynamics of harmful gambling and facilitate informed decision making; and
  • identify areas where research is most needed in order to guide strategic research programs.

Use the Main Menu to learn more about the Conceptual Framework of Harmful Gambling.  On this website, you will find options to provide feedback about the Framework and links to related plain language summaries of research using the Interactive Framework.

We hope that you will take a moment to explore the second edition of the Conceptual Framework of Harmful Gambling.  We believe the Framework is a valuable tool for all those who wish to understand the complexities of harmful gambling and minimize gambling harm.

Please cite our work as:

Abbott, Max; Binde, Per; Clark, Luke; Hodgins, David; Korn, David; Pereira, Alexius; Quilty, Lena; Thomas, Anna; Volberg, Rachel; Walker, Douglas; Williams, Robert. (2015). Conceptual Framework of Harmful Gambling: An International Collaboration Revised Edition. Gambling Research Exchange Ontario (GREO), Guelph, Ontario, Canada.