Signs a young person has a gambling problem
These are the signs to look out for if you think someone you’re close to might have a gambling problem
There are a few signs you can look out for if you think a friend has developed a gambling problem. Even if they won’t admit it themselves, if you notice a change in them, especially around their gambling habits, then there is a chance they are a problem gambler.
What is a problem gambler?
A problem gambler is someone who is unable to stop gambling despite the negative consequences. Even if a person is losing money, friends and family, a problem gambler will keep on gambling.
If you're worried about someone close you, find out how you can support someone with a gambling problem here.
How to tell a young person has a gambling problem
- Spending more and more money on gambling.
- Using money meant for things like buying lunch, taking the bus, or paying rent to gamble instead.
- Having debt that they can’t explain.
- Spending a lot of time on their phone or computer using gambling apps and websites.
- Their grades have dropped and they can’t get their schoolwork or college assignments finished on time.
- Talking a lot about gambling, bragging about their gambling wins and minimising their losses.
- An increased interest in news sites and sports results.
- Lying about time and money spent on gambling when they’re asked about it.
- No explanation for having large amounts of cash or expensive items.
- Borrowing or stealing money to gamble or to pay off a debt.
- A change in their personality or behaviour.
- Sudden, unexplained absences from school, college or work.
- Arriving late and leaving early for school, college or work.
- Losing interest in activities they usually enjoy.
- Spending less time with family and friends.
- Intense mood swings, especially after winning or losing a bet.
How can I stop gambling?
Gambling can be difficult to give up and you may have to try a few different things, but recovery is possible no matter how hopeless the situation may feel. You can call Problem Gambling Ireland for information and support on 089 241 5401.