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Gambling information, advice and support for young people

Gambling: Do I have a problem?

If you’re worried about your own or someone else’s gambling, our warning signs might help you make a decision on what to do. Remember! If in doubt, it’s always best to seek help. Our helpline advisers are here to help everyday.

Early Warning Signs

Some things might not seem to be obviously linked to gambling. Keeping an eye out for these warning signs might prevent small problems becoming bigger.

  • Being away from home without a reason
  • Constant shortage of money
  • Unexplained sources of money
  • Becoming secretive or lying
  • A lot of interest in gambling, odds, tips, and winning money
  • Losing interest in other hobbies, studies, family, friends, health and appearance
  • Mood-swings if they are not able to gamble
  • Bragging about winnings
  • Talking about gambling as a certain way of making money

Signs of a gambling problem

If someone has a problem for a longer time, it might have a more serious impact in their life.

  • Large debts (which they might make excuses for)
  • Trouble at school, college or work about non-attendance
  • Unexplained borrowing from friends family, or people less likely to ask questions
  • Unwillingness to repay borrowed money
  • Keen interest in gambling
  • Being more distant from friends and family than usual
  • Lying about the extent of their gambling to people close to them
  • Raising the subject of gambling or gambling debt in conversation

If you think that you or someone you care about might be showing any of these signs, it might be a good idea to look at some of our top tips for staying safe and getting help. Check out our pages on talking to a friend here.