Aussies love to gamble. From having a slap on the pokies to picking the first try-scorer in the footy, gambling is a popular – and widely accepted – form of entertainment in our culture.
But when does gambling go from harmless fun to a dangerous compulsion? How do you know if you have a gambling problem?
If you’re worried about your gambling habits, knowing the signs of a gambling problem can help you decide what action to take.
Signs of a Gambling Problem
These are just some of the common signs of a gambling problem.
- Borrowing or stealing money from friends and family to gamble
- Selling belongings for money to gamble
- Spending all disposable income on gambling
- Spending more money than planned on gambling
- Trying to chase losses with more gambling
- Lying or being secretive about how much is spent on gambling
- Constantly planning how to get more money to gamble
- Needing to gamble with increasing amounts of money to get the same thrill
- Avoiding social activities that cost money so you have that money to gamble
- Considering getting money to gamble through illegal means
- Lying to people to hide the extent of the gambling
- Less involvement in hobbies and leisure activities
- Skipping work/school/important commitments to gamble
- Spending more time gambling than planned
- Using drugs and alcohol more often/excessively
- Changes in sleeping, eating, or sexual relationship patterns
- Constantly checking the odds
- Trying to cut back on gambling, without success
- Arguing with friends and family after or about gambling
- Feeling guilty about gambling
- Gambling to escape problems or feelings
- Not feeling interested in friends, family, or normal activities
- Feeling preoccupied with thoughts of gambling
- Feeling worried, agitated or upset for no apparent reason
- Feeling hopeless, depressed or suicidal
Support for Gambling
Gambling Help Queensland offers free and confidential support to anyone impacted by gambling. If gambling has become a problem for you or someone you know, you can call the 24/7 helpline on 1800 858 858 to talk or book an appointment with a counsellor.