Knowing what warning signs to look for can help you recognize if gambling is a problem for you or someone you love.
When you gamble for fun and entertainment, you have control over your time, money and energy. You feel positive, and although you’d like to win, financial gain isn’t your sole reason for gambling. You’re playing with money set aside for entertainment, so when you lose you know it’s simply the cost of playing games of chance.
What happens when gambling stops being fun?
When gambling isn’t fun, it can affect all areas of a person’s life. The below are a few examples of warning signs that might indicate a problem. The more signs a person exhibits, the greater the likelihood that they may have lost control of their gambling.
Last night he told his spouse he was working late; he was really at the casino.
Lying about how often or how much someone gambles is a sign of a problem.
She’s absent from work a lot and is unable to keep up with her workload.
Those most at risk are often absent from school, work or important social activities because they’re gambling.
He missed his son’s birthday. He couldn’t leave the slot machine he was playing.
Those with gambling problems often neglect family or personal needs and responsibilities to keep gambling.
She gambles more and more for relief from the increasing pressures at work and home.
When gambling becomes an escape from job and family responsibilities, it’s a problem.
He missed a mortgage payment after he used that money for blackjack.
Spending more money than you can afford, using money intended for other purposes, and growing debt resulting from gambling are signs of a problem.
Whether you or a loved one is experiencing a few or all of the warning signs, there is help. To find the support you need to:
- Visit a GameSense Info Centre located in casinos and community gaming centres across B.C. Each one is staffed with GameSense Advisors who can help you access a variety of resources.
- Contact the BC Responsible and Problem Gambling Program by calling the BC Gambling Support Line at 1-888-795-6111 or visit bcresponsiblegambling.ca
Possible warning signs
- Gambling for longer and longer periods of time
- Lying about how much or how often they gamble
- Often missing work or school to gamble
- Neglecting personal or family needs to gamble
- Spending more time and money than they can afford
- Using money intended for other things to gamble
- Gambling more to win back lost money or get out of financial trouble
- Thinking gambling will finally be under control once the “big win” happens
- Feeling anxious or guilty about gambling
- Constantly thinking or talking about gambling
- Feeling empty or lost when not gambling