Identifying a problem gambler
If you suspect a friend, colleague or family member of having a gambling problem, there are a number of signs which you may be able to identify or look out for.
This is not an all-encompassing list, however the more of these signs that appear to fit with the person, the more likely they need to seek help for their gambling:
- Preoccupied with gambling and unable to stop.
- Spending increased time on gambling sites or visiting gambling venues.
- Bragging about gambling, exaggerating wins and minimising losses.
- Losing interest in other pastimes and hobbies, refusing invitations to social events.
- Spending increased amounts of their free time gambling.
- Gambling with increased amounts of money.
- Chasing their losses to win the money back.
- Borrowing money to gamble more or pay off gambling debt.
- Unpaid bills and debts.
- Unexplained absences from work or social occasions.
- Ability to control gambling is lost and efforts to reduce or stop gambling are unsuccessful.
- Being secretive about their gambling habits.
- Lying to conceal the extent of gambling.
- Swings in mood or behaviour.
If you notice any number of these signs mentioned in someone you know, you may have identified a problem. There are a number of support options that are available and some of them are listed here - Support agencies for gambling addiction.