Government of New Brunswick

What is problem gambling? Problem gambling is excessive gambling that negatively affects key areas of a person’s life: physical or mental health, school or work performance, finances and relationships.

There are a number of risky behaviours that may indicate a gambling problem. Some of these include:

  • Constantly thinking or talking about gambling.
  • Spending more time or money on gambling than you can afford.
  • Finding it difficult to control, stop, or cut down gambling, or feeling irritable when trying to do so.
  • Feeling a sense of emptiness or loss when not gambling.
  • Gambling more in order to win back losses or get out of financial trouble.
  • Thinking that your gambling will get under control as soon you have a ‘big win’.
  • Borrowing money, selling things, committing (or considering committing) criminal acts in order to get money for gambling.
  • Having increased debt, unpaid bills, or other financial troubles because of your gambling.
  • Often gambling until all of your money is gone.
  • Needing to gamble with larger amounts of money or for longer periods of time in order to get the same feeling of excitement.
  • Experiencing extreme highs from gambling wins and extreme lows from gambling losses.
  • Gambling to escape personal problems or to relieve feelings of anxiety, depression, anger, or loneliness.
  • Getting irritated more easily or having less patience when dealing with normal, everyday activities.
  • Feeling guilty about gambling or what happens while gambling.
  • Getting criticized by others for your gambling.
  • Having arguments with friends or family about money and gambling.
  • Refusing to discuss gambling with others or lying to cover it up.
  • Hiding bills, past due notices, winnings, or losses from your partner or family member.
  • Gambling instead of attending family or other social functions.
  • Neglecting family or household responsibilities because of gambling.
  • Neglecting work because of gambling.
  • Neglecting personal needs (e.g., for food, sleep, hygiene) because of gambling.
  • Consistently or always planning holidays where gambling is available.