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Gambling 101

Information About Problem Gambling

What is Problem Gambling?

Not all people who gamble excessively are alike, nor are the problems they face. People with gambling problems are found in all age groups, income groups, cultures and jobs. Some people develop gambling problems suddenly, others over many years.

There are many reasons why a gambling problem may develop. For example, some people develop problems when they try to win back money they have lost, or because they like to be “in the action.” Others have many life stresses that make gambling a welcome relief.

Problem gambling is not just about losing money. Gambling problems can affect a person’s whole life.

Gambling is a problem when it:

  • gets in the way of work, school or other activities
  • harms your mental or physical health
  • hurts you financially
  • damages your reputation
  • causes problems with your family or friends.

Are you wondering if you need help? Fill out the Gambling Quiz on this page to find out.

What to Call Problem Gambling

The 3 most common names used to describe over-involvement in gambling are compulsive gambling, pathological gambling and problem gambling.

Signs of Problem Gambling

Are you neglecting your personal responsibilities and have you withdrawn from family and friends? Does someone you know frequently borrow money or alternates between being broke and flashing money?

Problem Gambling Facts

What percentage of people who gamble develop a gambling problem?

Risk Factors for Problem Gambling

Do you or someone you know talk about gambling all the time, and is their or your self-esteem tied to gambling wins and losses?

Effects of Problem Gambling

Gambling can effect many parts of your life. Are you anxious about how much you are gambling? Are you feeling depressed?

Low-Risk Gambling and Harmful Gambling

Not all gambling is a problem. Gambling may be low risk or it may be harmful.

DISCLAIMER: Information on this site is not to be used for diagnosis, treatment or referral services. CAMH does not provide diagnostic, treatment or referral services through the Internet.
CAMH accepts no responsibility for such use. Individuals should contact their personal physician, and/or their local addiction or mental health agency regarding any such services.
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