Identifying a Problem or Compulsive Gambler

One of the most standard diagnostic tools used by counselors to diagnose gambling problems is a simple two question exercise known as the Lie/Bet Questionnaire:

1.Have you ever had to lie to people important to you about how much you gambled?

2.Have you ever felt the need to bet more and more money?


If you answered yes to one or more of these questions, further assessment is recommended.

Other questions to ask include:

  • Have you often gambled longer than you planned?
  • Have you ever been untruthful to yourself or anyone else about your gambling habit?
  • Have your thoughts of gambling caused you to lose sleep?
  • Have you used your income or savings to gamble while letting bills go unpaid?
  • Have you made repeated, unsuccessful attempts to stop gambling?
  • Have you ever broken the law or considered breaking the law to finance your gambling?
  • Have you borrowed money to finance your gambling?
  • Have you ever felt depressed or suicidal because of your gambling losses?
  • Have you been remorseful after gambling?
  • Have you gambled to get money to meet your financial obligations?

Again, a yes to any of these questions indicates further assessment is recommended.

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