Think you might have a gambling problem?

Are you worried you may have a problem with gambling? Do you need help finding out if you are ready to change your gambling activity? Below are resources that can help you.

Table of Contents

Risk factors

Are you or a loved one at risk for problem gambling?

Before you or a loved one tries gambling, it’s important to know if it could turn into a problem. The questions below can give you an idea of the risk.

  • Do you currently or have you previously had an issue with alcohol or substance misuse?
  • Do you currently or have you previously dealt with an addiction?
  • Have you ever received treatment (In-patient or out-patient care at a rehabilitation center) for an addiction?
  • Do you regularly attend any recovery support groups, such as AA or NA meetings?

If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, you should think twice before gambling. 

Signs and symptoms

Answer these questions to see if you or a loved one may have a gambling problem.

Ask yourself if you or a loved one has ever…

  • Felt that you needed to gamble with increasing amounts of money in order to achieve the desired excitement?
  • Felt restless or irritable when attempting to cut down or stop gambling?
  • Made repeated unsuccessful efforts to control, cut back, or stop gambling?
  • Often felt preoccupied with gambling (e.g., having persistent thoughts of reliving past gambling experiences, handicapping or planning the next venture, thinking of ways to get money with which to gamble)?
  • Often gambled when feeling distressed (e.g., helpless, guilty, anxious, depressed)?
  • After losing money gambling, often returned another day to get even (“chasing” one’s losses)?
  • Often lied to conceal the extent of involvement with gambling?
  • Jeopardized or lost a significant relationship, job, or educational or career opportunity because of gambling?
  • Had to rely on others to provide money to relieve desperate financial situations caused by gambling?

If you answered “yes” to one or more questions, then you might want to consider looking at your gambling more closely. 

You may be struggling with issues related to gambling. However, this site is not a substitute for a clinical evaluation and cannot provide an actual diagnosis. You should contact a health professional for more information and a complete evaluation. Please know that you are not alone. Reaching out for help is a big step and we encourage you to seek support as soon as possible.

Problem gambling support resources

Massachusetts Problem Gambling Helpline

The Massachusetts Problem Gambling Helpline provides support – such as direct transfers to treatment centers and connections to resources – to individuals and loved ones impacted by problem gambling. The problem gambling helpline is integrated with the MA Substance Use Helpline in order to streamline the helpline services provided to individuals with substance use disorder and/or problem gambling – as there are often co-morbidities – with a behavioral health focus.

Individuals can call 1-800-327-5050 or visit to speak with a trained Specialist to receive support. Specialists are available 24/7. Services are available in multiple languages and are free and confidential.

First Steps to Change

If gambling is affecting your life and you are thinking about change, you’ve already taken the first step. This guide will help you understand gambling, figure out if you need to change, and decide how to deal with the actual process of change. If you’re at all concerned about your gambling, this guide is for you.

Gambling Outpatient Counseling Services

Find a site near you: Gambling Outpatient Counseling Services Contracted with the MA Department of Public Health (DPH) (PDF) | (DOC)

Mass Men

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health’s Office of Problem Gambling Services and the Suicide Prevention Program launched an online free and anonymous screening tool for common mental health disorders, including problem gambling, on The goal of this initiative is to strengthen the individual, family, and community connectedness of working-age men in Massachusetts. The screening tool provides individuals the opportunity to self-identify signs and symptoms, educate themselves on mental health topics, and connect with local resources in order to seek treatment.

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