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How to Tell


Concerned about someone?

If you think someone you know has a gambling problem, it can be difficult and uncomfortable considering how to talk to him or her about it. Knowing how to start can help you find the courage to have the conversation.

  • First, choose a comfortable place where you feel safe and will not be interrupted.
  • Then, keep it simple and straightforward.
  • Tell the person you care about her and you are concerned about how she is acting.
  • Tell the person exactly what he’s done that concerns you.
  • Tell the person how her behavior is affecting other people – be specific.
  • Be clear about what you expect from him, “I want to talk to someone about your gambling”) and what he can expect from you, “I won’t cover for you anymore”).

If someone’s gambling problem has left its mark on you, it is important for you to take care of yourself. Even if the person who has the problem is not yet ready or willing to get help, it may still be beneficial for you to talk to someone. You can call the Oregon Problem Gambling Helpline and speak to a certified gambling counselor. All information shared is confidential and this service is FREE to Oregon residents. Call 1-877-695-46481-877-695-4648 (MY-LIMIT), text 503-713-6000503-713-6000, or click the buttons below to contact us online through Live Chat, IM or Email.

What is gambling?

Gambling is “the act of risking money or something else of value on an activity with an uncertain outcome.” Playing cards or video games for money, buying raffle tickets, betting on who’s going to win the next game of pool, or wagering your favorite video game on the outcome of a sports event – it’s all considered gambling. For most people, gambling is just for fun. It’s a way of making the game more challenging, more exciting. But, for some people, gambling becomes a serious problem.

When does gambling become a problem?

Problem gambling is any gambling, betting or wagering that causes family, financial, legal, emotional or other problems for the gambler, their family or others. Problem gambling can have a negative effect on your life or the lives of people close to you. For example, if your gambling is causing you to fall behind in school, miss work, have arguments with family or friends, or worry about money you have lost, you may be a “problem gambler.”

Anyone who gambles can develop a gambling problem.

What are the warning signs?

  • Gambling more frequently or for longer than intended
  • Lying about where money goes
  • Declining work or school performance
  • Borrowing money in order to gamble
  • Increasing preoccupation with gambling
  • Distancing or isolating from family or friends
  • Unable to pay bills or cover expenses
  • Chasing losses, or returning the next day to win back what was lost
  • Have you committed or considered committing a crime to finance your gambling
  • Have you made repeated unsuccessful efforts to control or stop your gambling

Where can you get help?

If you are worried that you or someone you know may be having problems related to gambling, the Oregon Gambling Helpline provides trained gambling addiction counselors who will be able to answer your questions and help you decide if you need further counseling.

Call the Helpline 1-877-695-46481-877-695-4648 (MY-LIMIT) and speak with someone who can get you to the help you may need. Or text 503-713-6000503-713-6000

All calls are free.
All calls are confidential.
Call anytime, 24 hours a day.