What is Problem Gambling?
Problem gambling is an obsession and a disease that, if not treated, could lead to financial hardship, a breakdown of social relations and impairment of professional development.
We would like to point out that diagnoses relating to disorders of a clinical nature can only be made by trained specialists in this field. This section will try and help you to identify if you have a gambling problem and then try and steer you in the right direction. If you think that 3 or more of the following characteristics apply to you, we suggest that you seek professional advice (see contact details below):
- Do you find yourself constantly thinking about gambling?
- Are you are constantly increasing your bet size?
- Are you borrowing money to gamble from friends, family or 3rd parties?
- Have you repeated attempted and failed to quit or control your gambling?
- Are you neglecting yourself, your family or your work?
- Are you using gambling as an emotional escape away from problems?
- Do you often chase your losses, i.e. take bigger risks and place bigger bets to try and win back your losses?
- Have you ever lied about the amount of money you have won or lost?
- Do you ever have feelings of depression or suicidal thoughts?
When gambling please remember the following:
- You’re buying fun, not investing your money
- Before playing, set strict limits on how much time and money you’re going to spend
- Quit while you’re ahead
- Only gamble with money you can afford to lose – never put your livelihood or family at risk
- Don’t spend more money on gambling with the hope to win back money that you have lost – i.e. do NOT chase losses
- Keep up other interests and hobbies – don’t let gambling take over your life
- Don’t gamble in order to escape from stress or boredom
- Gambling in moderation is okay
If you or someone you know experiences compulsive gambling, it’s imperative to note that treatment is available at all times.
The National Council on Problem Gambling operates the National Problem Gambling Helpline Network (800-522-4700). The network is a single national access point to local resources for those seeking help for a gambling problem. The network consists of 28 call centres which provide resources and referrals for all 50 states, Canada and the US Virgin Islands. Help is available 24/7 and is 100% confidential.
Just pick up the phone and dial 1-800-522-4700, or log on to www.ncpgambling.org