Gambling: Know the warning signs

Responsible Service of GamblingGambling appears to be fun and carefree, but that is not always the case. A gambling problem is something that could and can destroy your life in an instant – if you are not in control socially, financially, emotionally, legally and psychologically. So do you know the signs and are you in control?

Knowing the warning signs are a key component of an online RSG, however knowing the signs could also help someone that is nearest and dearest to you. This is gambling is an addiction that is difficult to define, and is not as clear cut as alcoholism or substance abuse.

There are warning signs that could indicate when a person is crossing the line from fun social gambling to having an issue that needs to be addressed:

  • Losing time

  • Lying about the amount of time spent gambling

  • Repeated failed attempts to stop gambling

  • Gambling used as an escape from life’s problems

  • Gambling for increasing amounts of time or with increasing amounts of money

  • Borrowing or loaning money on a regular basis

  • Feelings of helplessness, depression and thoughts of suicide

  • Withdrawing themselves

  • Gambling to try and obtain the amount lost (chasing)

  • Neglecting others, including children, close family or friends due to gambling

  • Money missing from bank accounts

  • Lack of food in the house

The issue with gambling addictions are that the affected gambler is usually the last one to realise that they have an issue. This is as they are so encapsulated and absorbed with the overall experience, wherein any issues that may arise which can be linked to their problem, they may just attribute to a financial issue or blame it on someone else. This is as the fantasy of winning big or winning the “mega jackpot” is so important and will solve any issues that they may have.

It can be difficult to know if someone has an issue with gambling, as at times we do not want to come to the realisation and don’t want to have to admit that their partner, friend or family member or loved one has an issue. The gambling problem can come and go, sometimes it is maintained for years and at times the problem can progress to disastrous levels. Regardless of the level that the problem progresses too, gambling is an issue that comes with immense amounts of shame, guilt, financial difficulties and can not only ruin the lives of the individual with the problem, but also the ones closest to them. Gambling problems need to be appropriately dealt with.