Know the Signs of Problem Gambling

Problem gambling is defined as gambling to the extent that it causes any kind of emotional, family, legal, financial, or other problems for the gambler or those around him or her. People of all ages, races, and socioeconomic backgrounds can become problem gamblers.

The first defense against problem gambling is to know which behaviors are considered safe and which ones may be the warning signs of a potential problem. The following chart can help you determine where you are in the spectrum.

Know the Signs

Go Ahead Yield Stop
You’re playing it safe
when you . . .
You may want to consider
slowing down if you . . .
You should stop and
seek help if you . . .
Only gamble with money set
aside for entertainment.
Begin gambling increasing
amounts of money.
Bet more than you can afford.
Play for fun rather than
just for money.
Become increasingly
preoccupied with gambling.
Gamble to escape
life’s worries and problems.
Balance gambling with
other healthy activities.
Spend increasing periods
of time gambling.
Neglect work, family, or friends.
Know that everyone
loses over time.
Play again and again
to try to win back losses.
Continually chase your losses.