25 Gambling Addiction Signs You Should Know About
Did you know that somebody in your life could be a gambling addict?
It’s surprising how often people with gambling addictions go unnoticed by those around them until it is too late.
You might just think they enjoy gambling in their free-time, but if they display these gambling addiction signs it could be because they have a rather serious problem with gambling.
It’s important to know the potential signs of addiction in order to spot them in your loved ones as soon as possible. The sooner the addiction is detected, the easier it will be to overcome it.
Likewise, the longer it takes for the person to seek help, the more grueling their recovery period will be.
- 1. An unusual preoccupation with gaming
- 2. Consistent mentions of gambling and/or casinos
- 3. Tendency to take strange risks
- 4. Penchant for putting family and friends at risk
- 5. Alienation of loved ones in favor of gambling
- 6. Rapid changes in general mood and demeanor with regards to gambling
- 7. Tendency to lash out when confronted about gambling
- 8. Compulsive lying
- 9. Lack of empathy for others pertaining to gambling
- 10. Ineffectiveness of diversionary measures against gambling
- 11. Lack of psychological and physical self-preservation
- 12. Erratic changes in diet and routines
- 13. Rapidly declining financial conditions
- 14. Incapability to quit gambling
- 15. Constant inclination to visit casinos and gaming centers
- 16. Complete lack of social engagement when in a casino or gaming center
- 17. Curious lack of emotional outbursts when gambling
- 18. Gradual downfall in social connections
- 19. Spousal and domestic trouble
- 20. Combination of gaming interest and PTSD history
- 21. Negligence and dereliction of professional duties
- 22. Constant domestic uproar and upheavals
- 23. Involvement with dangerous criminal elements
- 24. Continuing run-ins with the law
- 25. Suicidal thoughts and/or tendencies
1. An unusual preoccupation with gaming
Gambling is often disguised online as gaming by many different websites.
Shockingly, this deceptive form of gambling is accessible even to minors and could trigger a gambling addiction from a very young age.
Any type of online game that involves winning money by betting money should rightfully be categorized as gambling, but this isn’t always the case.
If somebody in your life seems very preoccupied with online gaming that involves money, it could be a sign that they’re becoming addicted to gambling with their money.
2. Consistent mentions of gambling and/or casinos
In the same way that a person in love would take any opportunity they can to talk about their significant other, a gambling addict will take any opportunity they can to talk about gambling and casinos.
No matter what the conversation topic might be, they’ll find a way to bring up the topic and mention it in some way or another.
If you can’t remember the last time you had a conversation with your friend that didn’t involve gambling, they’re most likely an addict.
3. Tendency to take strange risks
The risk that comes with gambling might lead a person to take risks in all other aspects of life.
It may start off silly, like them betting that they can jump from the highest diving board at a pool, but it can easily become extremely dangerous, like running across the road without looking either way just to take the risk.
The more strange and ridiculous these potentially life-threatening risks become, the more you should be worried about it.
4. Penchant for putting family and friends at risk
This love of risk can influence friends and family too.
They might be willing to take the risk of running a red light or driving drunk even if there are some of their family members in the car with them.
They won’t seem to care if the risks they are taking are putting others at risk as well, as long as they’re getting their adrenaline rush.
This is the same rush they get from risking their money when they are gambling, leading them to take any opportunity to feel that same rush.
5. Alienation of loved ones in favor of gambling
When given the choice between attending their child’s birthday party and attending a huge poker tournament, they’ll choose the gambling without even blinking an eye.
This lack of regard for family eventually leads to alienation.
Becoming alienated from everyone around them will often only push them into a life of gambling addiction even more, since they feel like it’s the only thing they have to live for.
Friends and family members might find it hard to help someone who does not seem to care about them anymore, but it could save that person’s life if they spot the signs early on.
6. Rapid changes in general mood and demeanor with regards to gambling
One moment they’ll love gambling and vehemently defend it to anyone who dares say that it could be a bad habit.
The next they will become remorseful and be the first to say how terrible and consuming it is.
This change in mood often depends on their wins and losses, but they always go right back to gambling again.
No matter how many times they lose, they’ll always be hopeful that the next time they gamble they will win.
7. Tendency to lash out when confronted about gambling
They will not approve of anybody trying to confront them about their gambling addiction, no matter the circumstance.
Addicts are often in denial about the destructiveness of their habits until it is too late for them to change anything.
An intervention will be met with hostility, but it’s the only way to break through to an addict.
If an addict is willing to talk about their problem, the best course of action is by getting them into a rehab program.
8. Compulsive lying
Once they realize that the people in their lives don’t approve of their gambling habit they’ll go to great lengths to hide it.
They’ll often lie about what they’re spending their money one and where they go when they are gambling.
Since addicts will also often resort to stealing from friends and family to fuel their addiction, they’ll start lying about that as well.
When people they have stolen or borrowed money from ask about the money, they will continually lie in order to get out of paying it back.
Even if they have money to pay with, they’d rather spend that money on their gambling addiction.
9. Lack of empathy for others pertaining to gambling
They won’t are how their gambling are affecting the lives of those around them.
If they’re not spending a lot of time with their loved ones, they won’t even stop to think about how much that hurts them.
They also won’t feel bad for taking money from their friends and family to fuel their gambling addiction.
Many gambling addicts will also attempt to pressure others into gambling as well, even though they know how destructive it can be.
10. Ineffectiveness of diversionary measures against gambling
If they aren’t interested in doing anything outside of gambling, you know they have a problem.
You could tempt them with a glamorous sea-side vacation in a country they’ve always wanted to visit, but they’d rather use that money to go to their local casino.
Unfortunately good opportunities just won’t be enough for a gambling addict to quit their ways.
The only way that they will overcome their addiction is by entering a rehab facility where they will be forcibly stopped from gambling.
11. Lack of psychological and physical self-preservation
They’ll lose sleep, skip meals, and stop being active just to exercise.
If you know somebody who suddenly seems extremely haggard, it’s possible that their all-consuming obsession with their addiction is the cause.
Don’t ignore these signs of deteriorating health in your loved ones, it could be a cry for help.
If you confront them about these changes and they become extremely defensive, it can be taken as a sign that there is something they want to hide.
12. Erratic changes in diet and routines
Say, for example, the person you know used to be a health fanatic.
They would make their own homemade food, never eat junk, drink water religiously, and exercise often.
Now you see them eating cheap fast food and forgetting to stay hydrated while they’re glued to their computers or regularly visiting casinos.
This sudden change in diet and routine is a clear warning sign that they have become consumed by their addiction.
13. Rapidly declining financial conditions
If they have to start selling their possessions in order to get by, it could possibly be because of addiction.
Gambling addiction is one of the most volatile addictions concerning money. It’s possible to lose an entire month’s salary in five minutes after walking into a casino or logging in online.
14. Incapability to quit gambling
Perhaps this person wants to stop gambling.
They have said again and again that they no longer enjoy it and that it’s hurting them more than anything else.
If they have said this and continue to gamble anyway, you have a clear and definite sign of an addiction that requires professional health.
15. Constant inclination to visit casinos and gaming centers
Whenever the topic of planning an outing comes up, they’ll suggest heading to the local casino or arcade.
If the only place they consider to be a fun time is gaming centers or casinos, there’s something bigger at play that you shouldn’t ignore.
People with gambling addictions aren’t going to the casino in order to have drinks and a good time with their friends.
They will ignore any other people in the room and stay wholly focused on gambling the entire time.
In certain cases, they might even become hostile when interrupted by people talking to them when they’re busy with the machines.
17. Curious lack of emotional outbursts when gambling
For most people, going out to gamble is a social event.
They will excitedly celebrate their wins and bemoan their losses.
An addict will just coast right through it since they’ve become desensitized to both the wins and losses of the game.
The more they gamble, the more they’ll lose interest in people who don’t gamble with them.
They won’t be interested in going for drinks with friends outside of casinos, they won’t want to attend barbeques or family events, they will only want to gamble.
19. Spousal and domestic trouble
In most cases, couples break up when the addict drives them to financial ruin.
The worst cases can lead to physical abuse when an addict lets their frustration with their inability to stop boil over into aggression towards their spouse.
This could be triggered by a spouse talking to them about how their gambling is a problem.
20. Combination of gaming interest and PTSD history
People with PTSD are more susceptible to all kinds of addiction.
If someone with PTSD also likes playing games, it’s even more likely for them to become addicted to gambling.
This is because a lot of gambling slot machines function in the same way as gaming.
21. Negligence and dereliction of professional duties
Gambling will inevitably take priority over any professional obligations that the person has.
They’ll most likely miss a lot of work and show up only to collect a salary that will fuel their gambling addiction.
They will also spend their time at work gambling online instead of performing any task given to them.
22. Constant domestic uproar and upheavals
It’s not surprising that gambling addiction causes major problems in households.
The addict’s behavior will be erratic and there will always be some kind of conflict in a household that includes a gambling addict.
This will eventually lead to a broken home in many cases.
23. Involvement with dangerous criminal elements
Many addicts turn to criminal activity in order to continue fueling their addiction.
It will start of slow by robbing friends and family and could eventually lead to joining a gang and turning to organized crime as a way to get by.
If someone you know has been hanging around bad influences, it might be time to intervene.
24. Continuing run-ins with the law
As their addiction progresses and their behavior becomes more erratic, it will become very common for gambling addicts to have incidents involving the law.
They might be arrested on charges like drinking and driving, being a public menace, damaging property, stealing and etc.
This kind of behavior definitely points to an underlying issue that shouldn’t be ignored.
25. Suicidal thoughts and/or tendencies
Gambling addiction is a one-way road to depression.
Once a person has lost contact with their loved ones due to their increasingly destructive behavior, lost financial security thanks to being fired, and lost any interest in things outside of their addiction, they often start feeling like there is nothing left to live for.
These signs of depression can also be present much earlier, when the person starts to feel remorse at the beginning of their addiction.