Warning Signs of Problem Gambling
Most people who participate in gambling do so responsibly and for entertainment. There is, however, a small percentage of the population whose gambling behaviours become damaging to themselves, their family or their workplace.
The Departments of Health have the most up to date prevalence information for each of their respective provinces. According to these prevalence studies, the problem gambling rates are generally about 1% of the population. In Nova Scotia the prevalence rate is 0.9%, in Prince Edward Island it’s also 0.9%, in Newfoundland and Labrador it’s 0.7% and in New Brunswick, it’s 1.3%.
Gambling requires three resources: time, money and energy. It becomes a problem if these resources are spent at the expense of other areas, such as personal relationships, family, employment, academics or financial commitments.
Problem Gambling Warning Signs
• Spending more time and money than intended
• Arguing about gambling with friends and family
• After losing, having the urge to return as soon as possible to win back losses
• Feeling guilt or remorse about gambling
• Borrowing money or selling assets to gamble
• Considering illegal means of obtaining money to gamble
• Missing work in order to gamble
• Hiding the extent of gambling activity
Assess your Gambling Behaviour
It’s important to evaluate your gambling habits and behaviour to ensure that gambling remains entertaining, yet safe. There are many different types of self-assessment tools available online or through Addiction Services which can help you assess your gambling behaviour. These self-assessment tools are not intended to diagnose problem gambling but can be helpful in identifying high-risk behaviour. Many provincial problem gambling rates are based on responses from the Canadian Problem Gambling Index (CPGI). To assess your gambling activities through the CPGI, please answer the following questions and click the "Assess my Gambling Behaviour" button.
Thinking about the past twelve months:
- Have you bet more than you really could afford to lose?
- Have you needed to gamble with larger amounts of money to get the same feeling of excitement?
- When you gambled, did you go back another day to try and win back the money you lost?
- Have you borrowed money or sold anything to get money to gamble?
- Have you felt that you might have a problem with gambling?
- Have people criticized your betting or told you that you had a gambling problem, regardless of whether or not you thought it was true?
- Have you ever felt guilty about the way you gamble, or what happens when you gamble?
- Has gambling caused you any health problems, including stress or anxiety?
- Has your gambling caused any financial problems for you or your household?