The problem with problem gambling

Problem gambling affects you — and your loved ones.
Problem gambling can make you miss out on life

Gambling can make people feel withdrawn, depressed, and disconnected from their family, friends, and community. It can get you in legal trouble and hurt you and your loved ones financially. A gambling problem can have as big an impact on your life as an alcohol or substance use problem.

It affects some more than others

Gambling might be a common social activity, but it can become a serious problem. Many social events like bus trips to casinos or community Casino Nights can involve gambling. For some people, these activities are just for fun, but others may experience problem gambling or develop a gambling disorder.

How can you tell the difference? Have you or a loved one ever:

  • Gotten defensive when asked about gambling?
  • Gambled every day?
  • Gambled with higher amounts of money to get the same excitement?
  • Felt restless or easily annoyed when attempting to cut down or stop gambling?
  • Tried and failed many times to cut back or stop gambling?
  • Spent a lot of time thinking about or planning to gamble?
  • Gambled when feeling stressed, anxious, or depressed?
  • Gambled to try to win back money previously lost by gambling?
  • Lied to hide how much or often they gamble?
  • Lost an important relationship, job, or opportunity because of gambling?
  • Needed to borrow money because of gambling?

If you answered “yes” to one or more questions, then you should consider reaching out for help. Call the Massachusetts Problem Gambling Helpline at 800-327-5050 to learn more.

You can get help

You can get help for yourself, a friend, or a family member today. 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.

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.

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