Signs & Symptoms

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders – Fifth Edition (DSM-V) has nine criteria for risky gambling behavior. These criteria categorize how severe an individuals gambling is. An individual must partake in any of these activities in the past 12-months for appropriate diagnosis. The categories are defined as:

  • Mild = 4-5
  • Moderate = 6-7
  • Severe = 8-9


  • Is often preoccupied with gambling.
  • A need to gamble with increasing amounts of money in order to achieve the desired level of excitement.
  • Repeated, unsuccessful efforts to control, cut back, or stop gambling.
  • Feels restless or irritable when attempting to cut down or stop gambling.
  • Gambles when feeling distressed.
  • After losing money gambling, often returns another day to get even (chases one’s losses).
  • Lies to family member, therapist or others to conceal the extent of one’s involvement with gambling.
  • Has jeopardized or lost a significant relationship, education or career opportunity because of gambling.
  • Relies on others to provide money to relieve a desperate financial situation caused by gambling.