How do I know if I have got a gambling problem?

If you are concerned about your gambling, are finding it’s causing you stress or anxiety, or is no longer fun, then you should take steps to assess whether you may have an addiction problem.

Symptoms of a gambling problem may include regularly betting more than you can afford, feeling you need to bet higher amounts or gamble more often to feel the same enjoyment you used to, or overspending enough to put you or your family in financial difficulty. If you feel guilt over your gambling, find yourself borrowing money to gamble with, feel compelled to keep trying to win back losses or to keep playing past the point you’re having fun, you may have a problem and should seek help.

BeGambleAware has a quiz to help gamblers identify their risk of addiction: www.begambleaware.org/recognise-a-gambling-problem/problem-gambling-quiz/ and the BeGambleAware website and National Gambling Helpline (Freephone 0808 8020 133 in the UK) offer information on staying in control of your gambling, identifying problems, and getting help if you need it.

ost gaming commissions and gaming control boards also require that regulated casinos, both online and land-based, operate a self-exclusion program you can take part in if you need to take a break from gambling for a while.

Ways to help stay in control of your gambling might include setting yourself limits on how much you want to spend, how much you will allow yourself to win before walking away, and how much time you play. If you’re worried about being tempted to spend more than you can afford, using an E-wallet solution for online gambling, or restricting yourself to just one card or account can help you keep better track of your spending habits.

Making sure you always gamble with a clear head—i.e., not using alcohol or drugs while you play, not playing when you’re angry or upset, and reminding yourself not to chase losses or think of gambling as a way to make money—will help you gamble responsibly and keep things fun, instead of allowing your gambling to become a source of stress or anxiety.

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