Warning Signs & Symptoms

Concerned about a friend, family member or yourself? Take this quiz to gauge someone’s risk for a gambling problem: https://www.beforeyoubet.org/the-quiz/

Signs someone you know may have a problem

  • Secrecy over money and finances
  • New desire to control household finances
  • Overdue or unpaid bills
  • Unexplained loans or cash advances
  • Lack of money, despite the same income and expenses
  • Unusual increase in credit card activity
  • Asking friends and family for money
  • Missing jewelry, cash or valuables
  • Dwindling savings or assets
  • Missing bank or credit card statements
  • Calls or letters from bill collectors
  • Unexplained cash, especially when there are unpaid bills

Disordered Gambling Criteria

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM 5) has nine criteria for risky gambling behaviors. These criteria categorize how severe an individual’s gambling is. An individual must partake in any of these activities in the past 12 months for an appropriate diagnosis.

  • Is often preoccupied with gambling
  • A need to gamble with increasing amount 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 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