This seems to be a question that comes up frequently when discussing problem gambling. It’s a topic that our counsellors discuss when people are trying to figure out if they or someone they care about has an issue with gambling.


What are the main factors that can determine how much is too much?


In most cases, the exact amount of money someone can safely spend on gambling comes down to personal circumstances and budget.  The key question to ask is, what amount of money can I risk losing without it affecting my ability to manage my budgeted items such as rent, food, transportation and monthly bills.


Ultimately this determination is made by the individual gambling and their present financial circumstances.  For some, gambling a small amount of money may mean they will have to go without important necessities, while others may be able to afford to gamble hundreds or thousands of dollars before they have an issue.


Gambling is also seen as a social outing and can be considered an entertainment expense. One should look at the return entertainment value they receive from their gambling investment.


If you start to feel worried or have financial stress related to gambling, or it’s simply no longer fun, you may have a gambling problem.


Do a few hours in front of a VLT screen provide you with the thrill you are seeking? Is it worth the risk of not providing properly for your family?


Part of the solution is taking a minute to honestly look at what gambling is costing you. It’s not just the money. You must also factor in the overall cost to your health, happiness and relationships.


If you’re spending more time or money gambling than you want to, or someone you care about is, free information and specialized help is available. If you’re asking how much gambling is too much, maybe it’s time to have a confidential chat with one of our Problem Gambling Help Line experts.


Help and advice is available 24 hours a day, every day,  by contacting the Problem Gambling Help Line at 1-800-306-6789.