Many people enjoy gambling, whether they are purchasing a lottery ticket or a night out at the casino. Most people who gamble do not develop problems, but some people lose control of their gambling.

Signs of problem gambling may include:

  • Preoccupation with gambling.
  • Lying about their gambling.
  • Spending work or family time gambling.
  • Feeling guilty after gambling, but not quitting.
  • Gambling with money needed for other essentials

New members of Gamblers Anonymous are usually asked a series of 20 questions, which take the form of the following:

  1. Does stress trigger the urge to gamble?
  2. Has gambling affected drive and aspirations?
  3. Has gambling affected personal life negatively?
  4. Has gambling ever affected wellbeing or that of dependents?
  5. Has one’s reputation been damaged as a result of gambling?
  6. Has one ever been tempted to steal or do something illegal to finance gambling?
  7. Has one ever borrowed money to gamble?
  8. Has one ever felt like gambling is a good way to celebrate?
  9. Has one ever felt remorseful after gambling?
  10. Has one ever gambled and lost to the point one had nothing to bet with anymore?
  11. Has one ever gambled as a sort of escape mechanism from the mundane life?
  12. Has one ever gambled for longer than initially planned?
  13. Has one ever gambled to win money to pay the bills or debts?
  14. Has one ever gambled while supposed to be at work?
  15. Has one ever lost sleep due to gambling?
  16. Has one ever set aside some money as money for gambling?
  17. Has one ever sold the belongings to gamble?
  18. Has one ever thought about the financial ruin the gambling may cause?
  19. When one loses, do they feel compelled to gamble again to win the losses back?
  20. When one wins, do they know when to quit or they keep gambling till lose again?

Individuals that answer “Yes” to 7 or more of these questions are generally considered to have a gambling problem or addiction.

If a gambling problem is suspected or has been identified, it is highly recommended that the gambler attend counselling with a problem gambling counsellor and/or a support group such as Gamblers Anonymous to deal with the gambling issues they are struggling with. To locate a Gambling Counsellor or a GA support group in Saskatchewan, please visit our website.