People who have gambling problems generally try to hide it from the people around them. They start lying to their spouses, families, coworkers, and friends.
Have you ever lied to people important to you about how much you gambled?
Some gamblers say they are just trying to win back the money they have lost. They will claim that once they win big, they will stop. Or that they lost because they changed strategies or were not lucky. But when they chase their losses, they end up piling up even more losses, and often debts.
Have you gambled to try to get your money back?
Borrowing money & gamble to solve financial problems
What do problem gamblers do when gambling puts them into a financial hole? They borrow—from their family, friends, coworkers, or even strangers, without always admitting the real reason they need the money. They may also have other people pay their gambling debts. They may max out their credit cards or take out a second mortgage.
Have you borrowed money to finance your gambling?
Have you gambled to get money to pay debts or to solve other financial problems?
Always betting more
Like many addictions, problem gamblers develop a tolerance to gambling and find that they have to up their “dose” of gambling to fulfill their fix. In other words, they have to bet more and more money to get the kind of rush they want. Unfortunately, the more they bet, the more they lose.
Have you ever felt the need to bet more and more money?
Being obsessed with gambling
When this happens, gamblers cannot stop thinking about the last time they gambled and the next time they will. Any reason is reason enough to go gambling, and they will try any strategy to get the money they need.
Do you often think about the next time you can gamble or how you will find the money to gamble?
Being unable to stop gambling
Many gamblers know they should not gamble so much, and want to quit. They try repeatedly, but cannot fight the urge to play. When trying to cut down on their gambling or stop altogether, some gamblers experience “psychological withdrawal symptoms.” Like someone who has a drug or alcohol problem, they become irritable, impatient, agitated, or tense if they do not get their “dose” of gambling.
Have you experienced unsuccessful efforts to control, cut back, or stop gambling?
Gambling to forget
These gamblers play to distract themselves, forget their problems, and reduce their stress. The game is not just entertainment for them. It is something they do to feel better and escape from whatever is bothering them. And then the gambling itself causes problems.
Do you gamble as a way of escaping emotional or physical pain, or because the stress at home, work, school, etc…?
Stealing or committing fraud to gamble
Despite their losses, problem gamblers continue playing, and their finances keep getting worse. Borrowing money from family, friends, and coworkers is no longer enough. To fund their habit and try to solve their problems by hitting the jackpot, they turn to misdeeds and crime.
Gambling because it is the most important thing in the world
Gamblers can become so addicted to the game and the hope to win it all back that they fall into ever-deeper financial, social, and professional trouble. Everything about their lives gradually revolves around and is affected by gambling. It puts their families, friendships, studies, jobs, and future career prospects at risk.
Have you ever jeopardized or lost a significant relationship, job or career opportunity because of gambling?