How can I play the pokies safely and responsibly?

Signs you may have a gambling problem

There are many signs that may indicate a problem with gambling. The more of these signs you recognise as part of your behaviour, the more likely it is that you have a gambling problem, and the more we recommend that you seek professional help. Some of these signs include:

  • 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
  • Constantly thinking or talking about 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’
  • Often gambling until all of your money is gone
  • Having increased debt, unpaid bills, or other financial troubles because of your gambling
  • Borrowing money, selling things, committing (or considering committing) criminal acts in order to get money for gambling
  • Gambling to escape personal problems or to relieve feelings of anxiety, depression, anger, or other negative emotions
  • Getting irritated more easily or having less patience when dealing with normal, everyday activities
  • 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
  • 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 or school because of gambling
  • Neglecting basic personal needs (e.g., for food, sleep, hygiene) because of gambling
  • Consistently or always planning holidays where gambling is available

If you feel you display a number of the above signs, and may need help addressing you gambling problem, check our page Who can I call if I think I have a gambling problem? For support services available depending on your location.