Government of New Brunswick

One or more of these changes may indicate a gambling problem:

Is absent and does not explain why

  • goes out more often without saying why or where
  • misses appointments, meetings, dates

Has less money than usual

  • stops spending money on “optional” expenses like entertainment, gifts, clothes, repairs, life insurance 
  • doesn’t pay bills on time
  • applies for new credit cards 
  • borrows money 
  • takes out secret loans

Is distant, preoccupied, moody

  • seems less interested in family, work, friends, hobbies 
  • avoids some friends because of money owed
  • doesn’t want to talk about money or debts: is secretive, edgy, angry, or uses double-talk to confuse you when you try to discuss it
  • acts restless and jittery when not busy 
  • may brag about winning at gambling, but says nothing about losing 
  • shows physical signs of stress such as headaches, stomach problems 
  • develops a habit of lying and deceiving

Uses gambling to cope

  • gambles to deal with stress, loneliness, boredom, depression
  • starts gambling more after giving up or cutting down on cigarettes, alcohol, or other substances

Tries but fails to stop or reduce gambling

  • expresses regret or guilt about lost money, promises “never again” but doesn’t hold to it 
  • borrows money to repay debts, but gambles the money away

Becomes desperate to keep gambling

  • after being upset about losing, gambles even more in the hope of winning back losses 
  • lies about past gambling losses
  • lies about money lost or borrowed
  • steals money to gamble or repay debts