Government of Saskatchewan
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        Tuesday, March 31, 2015
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Knowing where the fun ends and trouble begins is sometimes difficult to determine. It varies with each person and depends on individual circumstances. For example, the amount of money spent gambling may not be the best indicator. Some people have thousands of dollars in disposable income while others can’t even afford to play a game of bingo. A more accurate predictor of problem gambling may be the individual’s belief system around gambling, their expectations and their gambling behaviour.

Gambling problems are likely to develop when an individual:

  • Cannot follow limits on time and money spent gambling.
  • Misses work or other important events to gamble.
  • Tries to win back money they have lost.
  • Gambles to make money or believes there is a system to beat the odds.
  • Is preoccupied with gambling or obtaining money to gamble.
  • Disregards the consequences of continued involvement in gambling.

Problem gambling refers to all gambling behaviour that:

  • Adversely affects a person’s physical or psychological health.
  • Impacts significant areas of their life such as employment, family relationships, or financial stability.
  • Contributes to a person’s involvement in illegal activities to finance gambling.

A significant number of people with problem gambling behaviours also have problems with substance abuse. Losses from gambling may lead to substance abuse as a coping strategy; alternatively, loss of inhibition through alcohol or drug use may reduce self-control while gambling.

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