Signs of Youth Gambling

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Gambling is one of the most difficult addictions to recognize, because there are so few physical signs. Making things harder, many of the signs of a gambling problem are indicators of different problems as well (such as depression).

The below signs indicate that a problem is likely present, and professional help should be sought to determine if it is a gambling problem, a different problem, or both:

Possible Youth Gambling Indicators:

  • Gambling frequently on things like cards, dice, games, sports, or online sites
  • Lying about how much was gambled1
  • Gambling has become the favorite (or only) activity
  • Trouble concentrating on homework or other things (thinking about gambling)
  • Drinking alcohol or taking drugs
  • Borrowing or stealing money to gamble
  • Missing important events or sneaking out of them to gamble
  • Arguing with friends or family about gambling
  • Thinking that most problems would be solved by getting a big win
  • Thinking that gambling is an easy way to make money
  • Thinking that the odds can be beaten (“I am a good gambler”)
  • Making more bets thinking that money was lost can be won back
  • Feeling the need to bet more and more money

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