Identifying Problem Gambling: Signs and Symptoms to Watch for

Gambling is a well-liked activity that many people enjoy all over the world. While it can be a source of entertainment and excitement, it’s essential to be aware of the signs and symptoms of problem gaming. Identifying these signs early can help individuals seek support and take steps to address their betting habits before they escalate into more significant issues. 


In this article, we’ll explore the signs and symptoms of problem gambling and provide insights into recognizing when playing for money may be becoming problematic.

The Top 10 Signs and Symptoms of Problem Gambling

Problem gambling can have significant impacts on individuals and their loved ones, affecting various aspects of life, including finances, relationships, and mental well-being. Recognizing the signs of compulsive wagering is crucial for early intervention and asking for help. Below, we’ve outlined the top ten symptoms of trouble gaming to help people identify when their betting habits may be becoming worrisome.


  1. Preoccupation with Gambling: Constantly thinking about playing for money, i.e., planning the next gaming session or reliving past betting experiences.
  2. Increased Frequency of Wagering: Playing more frequently than usual, including spending more time and money on gaming activities.
  3. Difficulty Controlling Betting Behavior: Feeling unable to stop or cut back on wagering, even when attempting to do so.
  4. Chasing Losses: Continuously gambling in an attempt to recoup previous losses, leading to further financial problems.
  5. Neglecting Responsibilities: Neglecting important responsibilities such as work, school, or family obligations in favor of betting.
  6. Borrowing Money to Gamble: Borrowing money from friends, family, or financial institutions to fund wagering activities.
  7. Mood Swings: Experiencing mood swings, irritability, or agitation when unable to gamble or when faced with financial losses.
  8. Lying About Gambling: Hiding or lying about the extent of gambling activities or the amount of money spent on betting.
  9. Legal and Financial Problems: Experiencing legal issues, such as arrests or lawsuits, as a result of gaming behavior, or facing financial difficulties, such as mounting debt or bankruptcy.
  10. Withdrawal Symptoms: Experiencing physical or emotional withdrawal symptoms, such as sadness or restlessness, when trying to reduce or quit gambling.


It’s important to note that problem gambling can affect individuals from all walks of life and may not always be immediately apparent. However, by being aware of these signs and symptoms, players, as well as their friends and family members, can better recognize when betting may be becoming problematic.

If you or someone you know is exhibiting signs of trouble playing, it’s essential to seek help from trained professionals, such as counselors or support groups specializing in game addiction.