How To Find Out If You Have A Gambling Problem

Oct 23, 2018 The California Department of Public Health has an Office of Problem Gambling that can help if you’re finding you’re struggling with a gambling addiction. It has a toll free-number available, as well as the option to chat online. 1-800-Gambler Some gamblers have a real issue on their hands and need to seek help immediately. If you have even the slightest idea that you might have a problem, don’t hesitate to seek professional help. This article is for players who can easily control their gambling, including those who might just need to take a break or back off for a short while. As a result, in problem gamblers, losing sets off the urge to keep playing, rather than the disappointment that might prompt you to walk away, a phenomenon known as chasing losses.

Take this gambling addiction test to help find out whether you have a problem with gambling or a real gambling problem.

How to Recognize a Gambling Problem

It isn't difficult to determine if a person has a gambling problem. The signs of a gambling addiction or gambling problem are likely apparent to significant others surrounding the person with a gambling addiction. But to the gambling addict who's enmeshed in the world of betting, it's often difficult to see things clearly.

Gambler's Anonymous asks its new members twenty questions. These questions are provided to help the individual decide if he or she is a compulsive gambler and wants to stop gambling. Pathological gamblers usually answer 'yes' to at least seven of these questions:

Gambling Addiction Test: Is Gambling A Problem for You?

Do you really want to know if you have problems with gambling. Answer these gambling addiction test questions honestly.

  1. Did you ever lose time from work or school due to gambling?
  2. Has gambling ever made your home life unhappy?
  3. Did gambling affect your reputation?
  4. Have you ever felt remorse after gambling?
  5. Did you ever gamble to get money with which to pay debts or otherwise solve financial difficulties?
  6. Did gambling cause a decrease in your ambition or efficiency?
  7. After losing did you feel you must return as soon as possible and win back your losses?
  8. After a win did you have a strong urge to return and win more?
  9. Did you often gamble until your last dollar was gone?
  10. Did you ever borrow to finance your gambling?
  11. Have you ever sold anything to finance gambling?
  12. Were you reluctant to use 'gambling money' for normal expenditures?
  13. Did gambling make you careless of the welfare of yourself or your family?
  14. Did you ever gamble longer than you had planned?
  15. Have you ever gambled to escape worry or trouble?
  16. Have you ever committed, or considered committing, an illegal act to finance gambling?
  17. Did gambling cause you to have difficulty in sleeping?
  18. Do arguments, disappointments or frustrations create within you an urge to gamble?
  19. Did you ever have an urge to celebrate any good fortune by a few hours of gambling?
  20. Have you ever considered self-destruction or suicide as a result of your gambling?

Gambling Problem? What Next?

If you are concerned about having a gambling problem, even if you just consider if a 'problem with gambling,' print the results of this gambling addiction test and share them with your doctor, a counselor or therapist, or someone else you trust. Problem gambling can be helped with proper gambling addiction treatment.


  • Gambler's Anonymous

next: Why Do People Gamble
~ all gambling addiction articles
~ all articles on addictions

APA Reference
Gluck, S. (2008, December 16). Do You Have A Gambling Problem?, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2020, December 16 from

Problem gambling is a public health issue affecting many Wisconsin residents of all ages, races, and ethnic backgrounds. It is said to be a 'hidden addiction,' because unlike alcohol and drug abuse, most people don't see any of the symptoms. Problem gambling is treatable.

How to get help

Call 1-800-GAMBLE-5 (1-800-426-2535). Help is available 24/7. The call is free and confidential.

Frequently asked questions

What is problem gambling?

How To Find Out If You Have A Gambling Problem

Problem gambling–or gambling addiction–includes all gambling behavior patterns that compromise, disrupt or damage personal, family, or vocational pursuits. The essential features of problem gambling are increasing preoccupation with gambling, a need to bet more money more frequently, restlessness or irritability when attempting to stop, “chasing” losses, and loss of control manifested by continuation of the gambling behavior in spite of mounting, serious, negative consequences. In extreme cases, problem gambling can result in financial ruin, legal problems, loss of career and family, or even suicide.

Isn't problem gambling just a financial problem?

No. Problem gambling is an emotional problem that has financial consequences. If you pay all of a problem gambler’s debts, the person will still be a problem gambler. The real problem is that they have an uncontrollable obsession with gambling

How To Find Out If You Have A Gambling Problem Involving

What kind of people become problem gamblers?

Anyone who gambles can develop problems if they are not aware of the risks and do not gamble responsibly. When gambling behavior interferes with finances, relationships and the workplace, a serious problem already exists.

How can a person be addicted to something that isn't a substance?

Although no substance is ingested, the problem gambler gets the same effect from gambling as someone else might get from taking a drug or drinking alcohol. The gambling alters the person’s mood and the gambler keeps repeating the behavior attempting to achieve that same effect. But just as tolerance develops to drugs or alcohol, the gambler finds that it takes more and more of the gambling experience to achieve the same emotional effect as before. This creates an increased craving for the activity and the gambler finds they have less and less ability to resist as the craving grows in intensity and frequency.

How much money do you have to lose before gambling becomes a problem?

The amount of money lost or won does not determine when gambling becomes a problem. Gambling becomes a problem when it causes a negative impact on any area of the individual’s life.

How Can You Tell If You Have A Gambling Problem


Problem gambling screening tools

These tools will determine if there is a problem, but only a professional can diagnose if it is a gambling problem, a different problem, or both.

Have a conversation

Talking with someone about a potential gambling problem can be difficult. Choose the right moment, speak in a caring and understanding tone, and hear what he or she is saying.

  • Tell the person you care about him/her and you're concerned about how he/she is acting.
  • Tell him/her exactly what he/she has done that concerns you.
  • Tell him/her how his/her behavior is affecting other people. Be specific.
  • Be clear about what you expect from him/her ('I want you to talk to someone about your gambling.') and what he/she can expect from you ('I won't cover for you anymore.')
  • After you've told him/her what you've seen and how you feel, allow him/her to respond. Listen with a non-judgmental attitude.
  • Let him/her know you are willing to help, but don't try to counsel him/her yourself.
  • Give him/her information, not advice.
  • Encourage him/her to call Wisconsin's toll-free helpline: 1-800-GAMBLE-5 or 1-800-426-2535
Responsible gambling tips
  • Set limits on time and money
  • Never gamble when depressed or under stress
  • Keep gambling a social activity
  • Know risks before you bet
  • Never borrow to play

How To Find Out If You Have A Gambling Problem Even

  • Gamble with money set aside for entertainment
  • Bet only what you can afford to lose
  • Don't chase your losses
  • Avoid mixing gambling with alcohol or other substances

How To Find Out If You Have A Gambling Problem Regarding

Related information