A gambling addiction is different from tobacco or alcohol addictions. You can’t “smell” a gambling addiction. Given the subtle nature of gambling problems, how can you identify someone who is at risk for an addiction to gambling?
Warning signs of a potential gambling addiction:
- Needs to gamble with increasing amounts of money
- Is restless or irritable when attempting to cut down or stop gambling
- Has made repeated unsuccessful efforts to control, cut back, or stop gambling
- Is often preoccupied with gambling
- Often gambles when feeling distressed
- After losing money gambling, often returns another day to get even (chasing losses)
- Lies to conceal the extent of involvement with gambling
- Has jeopardized or lost a significant relationship, job, or educational or career opportunity because of gambling
- Relies on others to provide money to relieve desperate financial situations caused by gambling
Additional signs of problem gambling may include frequent absences from home and work, excessive phone use, withdrawal from family, personality changes (increased irritability/hostility) and diversion of family funds. It’s important to realize that problem gambling can affect anyone.
To help determine if you or someone you know is at risk for problem gambling, take the 2-minute risk tests. If you think you need help or know someone that does, there are resources available. Go to the Get Help section in this website.