Problem Gambling

One aspect of gambling which must never be ignored is problem gambling, so let's address it head on. Problem gambling refers to the condition whereby the act of betting may change from being a recreational activity to one which is having a negative impact on a person's life. This page takes you through the signs of problem gambling, methods to helping yourself, and where you can get help for yourself or on behalf of someone else.

  • Learn how to know if your gambling is a problem
  • Discover methods to self help
  • Find out where to find help with problem gambling

How To Know If Your Gambling Is A Problem

Any reputable online or offline betting company will offer advice on where to seek assistance for gambling problems, as well as ways to suspend or curb gambling activities. Take a look at some of the signs which may suggest that somebody has a gambling problem.

  • Being secretive about gambling

  • Spending more on gambling than you can afford

  • Friends and family voice concerns about your gambling

  • Lying about your gambling

  • Borrowing money to gamble

  • Unable to control gambling

  • Always thinking about gambling

  • Feeling anxious or depressed because of betting

  • Gambling negatively affects work, social or family life

As you can see from the list above, there are many signs along the road to suggest that someone may have a problem with gambling. Sports betting, or indeed any form of gambling, should be a fun and entertaining pursuit. Once it gets to a stage where it's not enjoyable, it's probably time to stop.

One of the most important things to bear in mind is that you should never bet with money that you can't afford to lose. If you're spending money on gambling which means you're unable to make other purchases or pay bills, then it is time to evaluate your relationship with gambling.

Another key indicator that there may be a problem is if you're not being honest about your gambling with family and friends, or if you find that you're constantly thinking about gambling. If you are feeling anxious or depressed as a result of gambling then it's certainly time to take action. When your gambling has a negative impact on your work, your social life or your relationships, then it is time to take action to solve the problems it is causing in your life.

Methods to help yourself

Fortunately, as awareness of the negative impacts that gambling can have are more widely known nowadays, help is at hand should you or a loved one have a gambling problem. If you're betting online with a reputable and well-regulated sportsbook or casino, they'll have ways for you to help yourself if you believe gambling is becoming an issue. One common feature they may boast is the ability to limit the amount of money you can deposit per day, week or month.

Another way to limit your gambling is to exclude yourself from the site for a period of time – or even permanently. A reputable site will not let you bet again until the deadline has expired. Other sites offer a loss limiter, which restricts how much you can lose on a particular product, such as sports betting or casino games. While you will always be able to lower deposit or loss limits, you will not be able to increase these again without waiting for a period which is normally between 7 and 28 days.

All of these limiters help players to take control over their betting, and are a great way to ensure that your gambling doesn't get out of control. We strongly recommend that everybody consider setting a deposit limit on how much you can credit to your gambling account at the very least.

You'll be able to utilise the same restrictions if you bet offline by speaking with an organisation like GameSense or OLG (or your local support group), as well as with the land-based casino or sports betting shop in question.

Seeking outside help

If you feel that a problem with gambling has gone beyond the stage where you can help yourself, then there are plenty of organisations in Canada which can help. Visit a site such as or or to find contact details for your local organisation, such as GameSense for BC or the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation.

If you don't feel that you're able to deal with an issue alone, then these organisations can provide counselling as well as practical ways to deal with the issues you are experiencing. If you believe that a friend or family member shows signs of problem gambling, then we recommend that you contact your local gambling support group on their behalf. They will be able to advise you on the best course of action to take.