The South Oaks Gambling Screen (SOGS) is a psychometric instrument widely used internationally to assess the presence of pathological gambling. Developed by Lesieur and Blume (1987) in the United States of America (USA) as a self-rated screening instrument, it is based on DSM-III and DSM-III-R criteria. This paper describes the origins and psychometric development of the SOGS and comments critically in relation to its construct validity and cutoff scores. Reference is made to the use of the SOGS in the Australian setting, where historically gambling has been a widely accepted part of the culture, corresponding to one of the highest rates of legalised gambling and gambling expenditure in the world. An alternative approach to the development of an instrument to detect people who have problems in relation to gambling is proposed.