Recognizing and addressing signs of problem gambling

Staying Safe and Playing Responsibly Online

Recognizing And Addressing Signs Of Problem Gambling: Finding Support And Reclaiming Control

While poker can be a fantastic source of entertainment, strategy, and even community, it’s vital to recognize when the line between harmless fun and potential trouble starts to blur. Problem gambling, like any addiction, can have far-reaching personal, financial, and social consequences. Early identification of warning signs is crucial, and it’s important to understand that seeking support is a sign of strength, not weakness.

Identifying The Red Flags

Problem gambling can manifest in subtle and overt ways. Keep an eye out for these potential red flags, both in yourself and those you care about:

  • Continuing to play in an attempt to recoup previous losses is a common sign of trouble. Remember, the house always has the edge and chasing losses usually only leads to a deeper hole.

  • When gambling consumes your thoughts, affecting your focus on work, family, and other important aspects of life, it’s a cause for concern.

  • Repeatedly needing to up the stakes to achieve the same level of excitement and risking more money than you can afford to lose can be a sign of losing control.

  • If you find yourself lying about your gambling habits, hiding losses from loved ones, or sneaking around to gamble, it’s time to seek support.
  • Problem gambling can lead to feelings of anxiety, irritability, restlessness, and even thoughts of self-harm. Don’t hesitate to reach out for help if you’re facing these struggles.

Where To Turn for Help

If you recognize these warning signs in yourself or a loved one, don’t despair. Remember, you’re not alone. Here are some resources that offer crucial support on the journey to recovery:

  • Organizations dedicated to problem gambling operate confidential helplines. Search online for a problem gambling helpline to connect with trained professionals and access resources.

  • Joining a support group like Gamblers Anonymous provides a safe, judgment-free environment to share experiences and learn coping mechanisms.

  • Seeking professional counseling can help address the underlying causes of problem gambling and develop strategies for change.

  • Many online gaming platforms, including, offer self-exclusion options. These tools empower you to temporarily or permanently limit your own access to the site.

Tips For Loved Ones

If you’re concerned about someone’s gambling habits:

  • Avoid accusations. Instead, express your concern in a loving and non-judgmental manner.

  • Let them know you’re there to listen and help them access resources

  • It’s okay to protect yourself financially and emotionally from the impacts of someone else’s gambling.

Fostering A Responsible Gaming Community

Remember, seeking help is not a sign of weakness but rather the first courageous step towards a healthier relationship with gaming. If you or someone you care about needs support, don’t hesitate to reach out to the resources listed above. Help is available, and recovery is possible.

Let’s work together to create a gaming environment where well-being comes first. If you notice the signs of problem gambling in a fellow player, don’t hesitate to offer support and guide them towards the available resources.