Signs of a gambling problem family and friends

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Signs of gambling harm

It’s hard to know if someone is struggling with gambling. Your loved one may have done everything possible to hide it from you. What should you look for?

No-one wants to jump to conclusions, especially about something as serious as a loved one having issues with gambling. Your hunch might be right, but it’s worth knowing how to put your finger on what’s wrong.

The clues
  • They won’t talk about where they’ve been spending their time.
  • They’re reluctant to talk about their finances.
  • They always collect the mail and find ways to stop you from seeing bills.
  • You’ve noticed money going missing – from shared accounts or elsewhere.
  • They ask to borrow money but won’t give a good reason why.
  • They’ve started selling things they own without explaining why.
  • Sometimes they have cash to throw around, but other times they’re broke.
  • They get upset or angry more easily.
  • They’re abusing alcohol or drugs.
  • They’ve lost interest in usual activities like spending time with friends or family.
  • They neglect work, school, family, personal needs or household responsibilities.
  • They seem anxious, worried, guilty, depressed or irritable.
  • They argue with family or friends about money and gambling.
  • They’re always thinking or talking about gambling.
  • They’re spending more money and time on gambling than they can afford.
  • They find it hard to manage or stop gambling.
  • They’re lying about gambling and trying to hide it from people.
  • They're chasing their losses or using gambling to get out of financial trouble.
  • They’re gambling until all their money’s gone.
  • They’re gambling with bigger amounts of money, more often or for longer times.

For free, confidential advice and support, call GambleAware on 1800 858 858 and arrange to talk to a counsellor near you.

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GambleAware acknowledges Aboriginal people as the traditional custodians of the land and we pay respects to Elders past, present and emerging. GambleAware is an inclusive support service.
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