If gambling no longer feels like a game, it may be time to step away. In some cases, you may decide you need support in getting control of your gambling.

Signs of a gambling problem

Gambling Disorder is behavior which causes disruptions in any major area of life: psychological, physical, social or vocational. It is a progressive addiction characterized by increasing preoccupation with gambling, a need to bet more money more frequently, restlessness or irritability when attempting to stop, “chasing” losses, and loss of control manifested by continuation of the gambling behavior in spite of mounting, serious, negative consequences.

A person shows signs of gambling disorder if he/she:

  • Needs to gambling with increasing amounts of money to achieve the desired excitement
  • Exhibits restless or irritable behavior when attempting to cut down or stop gambling
  • Is often preoccupied with thoughts about gambling
  • Often gambles when feeling distress
  • Chase’s ones losses/returns another day to get even
  • Lies to conceal the extent of gambling
  • Jeopardizes a significant relationship, job or opportunity because of gambling
  • Relies on others to provide money to relieve desperate financial situations caused by gambling

Are you concerned that about a potential gambling problem? Take the ten-question self-assessment provided by the National Council on Problem Gambling.

Treatment tools

Massachusetts devotes substantial resources to the prevention of problem gambling and the provision of problem gambling treatment services.

  • Voluntary Self-Exclusion
    This program supports a person’s decision to voluntary bar themselves from any Massachusetts gaming facility for a period of time
  • Massachusetts Council on Compulsive Gambling Helpline
    A 24-hour confidential helpline that can provide counseling and information about self-help meetings and groups. Call 800-426-1234 with specific concerns about gambling.
  • Outpatient Treatment Centers
    The Department of Public Health, Bureau of Substance Abuse Services contracts with Outpatient Treatment Centers that are available to all those seeking professional counseling for problem disorders. Counseling is available to anyone concerned about gambling: those who gamble, their families and/or significant others. Treatment is available regardless of insurance coverage.
  • Self-help
    Self-help groups are available to support people experiencing gambling problems, as well as their loved ones.