The 4 best free documentaries about gambling addiction

Jun 30, 2023 | Best Of, Gambling

Gambling is a passion for millions of people around the world, whether they are betting on sports at their local bookmaker or playing against other players. The industry has grown into an exciting multi-billion dollar industry, as it is easier than ever to take part in this form of entertainment. We have put together some of the best documentaries about gambling addiction that explore the darker side of this enticing pastime. Whether it’s real-life stories or expert opinions – these films are worth watching if you want to gain a better understanding of why gambling can become an addiction. Enjoy!

1. Gamblers Like Me: The Dark Side of Sports Betting

Collins Muhinda has been a fan of football ever since he can remember, and his passion extended to betting on the beautiful game. But when he started investigating the betting industry in Uganda, he found a much darker side than expected. Global companies had targeted some of Africa’s most vulnerable people with their gambling operations; Collins saw first-hand how this could lead to an epidemic of compulsive gambling amongst the youth.

BBC Africa Eye follows Collins on a journey as he explores the devastating impact that sports betting can have on the lives of young Africans. Along his travels, he finds out who is getting rich from this industry and discovers how powerful and dangerous it can be. He also starts to question his own betting habits; what were the odds he was up against?

This documentary explores the allure of sports betting and how it is impacting the continent. It shows the devastating consequences that gambling addiction can have, as well as giving insight into why people are drawn to this activity in the first place.


2. Investigating Australia’s gambling addiction

Australians have a passion for gambling, with over $25 billion lost every year to poker machines found in local pubs and clubs. This is despite the nation having only a relatively small population – it’s still home to an incredible 20% of the world’s “pokies”.

Gambling causes devastating damage to society but trying to tackle the influence of a billion dollar industry is an arduous and uphill battle. Government action has been mostly met with failure, until now. Finally, state governments are beginning to take a stand and fight back against gambling addiction.

This relentless habit of Australians has inspired some of the best documentaries around gambling addiction – revealing why individuals get hooked on games like poker machines and how this impacts people’s lives. These documentaries shine a light on the social destruction that comes with gambling addiction and highlight the importance of curbing the power of this billion dollar industry.


3. Bright Lights: what one woman’s 25-year gambling addiction really cost

Sites such as have really helped popularise online sports betting in Australia with their easy-to-navigate page, and many useful resources for both beginner and experienced bettors.

Sharon’s life changed drastically after the arrival of gaming machines in Australia back in 1992. She became addicted to ‘pokies’, and it had a devastating effect on her life. This animated documentary captures Sharon’s personal struggles with gambling addiction and how it ultimately led to an explosive situation when she encountered her seven-year-old daughter and her piggy bank. The incident serves as a powerful testimony of the harmful impact that gambling can have on individuals and their families. Sharon’s story is compelling and heartbreaking, making it one of the best documentaries about gambling addiction. Even after all these years, her struggle remains relevant to this day – reminding us of the destructive nature of unchecked gambling habits.


Read On – Our Latest Top Documentaries Lists

Thomas B.