Not all those who gamble have a problem. There are significant differences between those who gamble occasionally, those whose entertainment of choice is gambling and those who let gambling become a serious problem.
Gambling becomes a problem when it comes before work and family, or when gambling continues despite the financial and social problems it is causing.
Problem gambling can cause financial burdens when the gambler is unable to stop or is relying on a win to get them out of debt – this can result in larger and larger amounts of money being wagered. The withdrawal from friends and family, combined with the fear of growing debt or continued losses can lead to mood swings, anxiety, anger, depression or thoughts of suicide.
According to the Canadian Public Health Association, the following signs can point to problem gambling:
 Facts About Problem Gambling in Canada. Problem Gambling.ca. http://www.problemgambling.ca/EN/Documents/FA_GamblingProblemGamblinginCanada.pdf
 Pathological gambling. NIH National Institutes of Health. http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/001520.htm
 Fighting the Odds. Stats Canada. http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/75-001-x/01203/6700-eng.html
 The Effects of Gambling. Problem Gambling Institute of Ontario. http://www.problemgambling.ca/en/aboutgamblingandproblemgambling/pages/theeffectsofgambling.aspx
 Online Gambling: Is addiction one click away? Canadian Public Health Association. http://www.cpha.ca/en/portals/substance/article05.aspx