Problem gambling or gambling addictions can form when you are no longer able to control the amount of money, or time you spend gambling.
While problem gambling occurs in a very small percentage of the population, it affects a wider circle of people around them. Different societal situations and changes in circumstances can quickly cause gambling to go from being fun and enjoyable, to being out of control and having negative impacts.
Some signs you may be at risk of problem gambling can be:
- When you lose a bet, you try to win it back
- You gamble more money than you can afford to; or originally wanted to spend
- You keep losing track of time when gambling
- You’ve been staying away from work, university, family or friends to gamble
- You’re gambling to escape feelings of stress, boredom or depression
- Other people start commenting on how much or how frequently you gamble
- You start thinking of things to sell, asking to borrow money or consider stealing to find money to gamble
- You start earmarking future gambling winnings for bills, or household expenses
Problem gambling and gambling addictions can escalate and cause negative effects such as:
- Unwanted debts and extreme financial stress
- Relationship breakdowns
- Stress and depression
- Legal issues where fraud or theft is involved
You can avoid Problem Gambling and its negative effects by taking steps to Stay in Control.