Warning Signs

In this section

Problem Gambling doesn't develop in an instant. There are many warning signs; would you know them if you saw them?

Gambling Signs

  • Chasing losses (gambling to win back lost money)
  • Increased betting in order to achieve the same level of excitement
  • Gambling until that last dollar is gone
  • Wagering more money than one can afford
  • Acting inattentive or “spaced out” while gambling
  • Making repeated trips to the bank machine to keep gambling

Life Signs

  • Gambling more frequently and for longer periods of time
  • Gambling to escape daily pressures and obligations or to relieve feelings of anxiety, depression, anger
  • Gambling for income or to supplement income
  • Consistently planning holidays where gambling is available
  • Choosing to gamble instead of engaging in other activities
  • Being absent from school, work and other activities
  • Neglecting personal needs (e.g., for food, sleep, hygiene)

Money Signs

  • Borrowing money, selling possessions
  • Having increased debt, applying for and using more credit
  • Having unexplained money or new possessions
  • For those who live with the person who may have a gambling problem: money or valuables that mysteriously disappear
  • Paying bills late or not at all
  • Stealing money or valuables from family, friends or one’s work place

Interpersonal Signs

  • Neglecting friends and/or family responsibilities
  • Losing interest in spending time with friends or spending time with family
  • Lying about the time or money spent gambling or hiding it from others
  • Talking about wins and never mentioning losses
  • Constantly raising the subject about gambling activities and experiences
  • Getting irritated more easily or having less patience when dealing with normal, everyday activities
  • Denying there is a problem even when gambling is out of control; acting defensive

Click here to take a Self-Assessment. To talk to someone about your gambling, call the Gambling Support Line (24/7 toll free): 1.888.795.6111.