Government of New Brunswick
My addiction has alienated them and I can't see my kids. Don't hide big problems with small talk. Call 811 for help.

Gambling occurs whenever someone takes the chance of losing money or belongings, and when winning or losing is decided mostly by chance. There are many ways to engage in forms of gambling such as buying lottery tickets, playing cards for money (poker, bingo), playing slots machine, betting on sports and more.  Gambling can also take place via the Internet, through online sports betting, poker and other card games, and virtual casinos.

Gambling disorder involves repeated problematic gambling behavior that causes significant problems or distress. It is also called gambling addiction or compulsive gambling (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders – DSM-5)

An individual experiencing problems related to gambling can be male or female. They belong to any age groups and come from all walks of life.

While there is no typical profile for an individual experiencing harmful gambling, he/she/they likely to exhibit one or more of the following traits:

While there is no typical problem gambler, he/she is likely to exhibit one or more of the following traits:

  • family history of addiction, abuse, or neglect
  • recent loss, trauma, or stress
  • poor coping and problem-solving skills
  • early positive associations with gambling
  • belief in “magical thinking” and illusions about the odds of winning

What does harmful gambling have in common with other addictions?

  • short-lived enjoyable feelings, exhilaration
  • symptoms such as sweaty palms, rapid heartbeat, and nausea
  • relief from negative feelings
  • tolerance: increasing amounts needed
  • withdrawal symptoms during abstinence, like anxiety and insomnia
  • dependence
  • loss of control
  • detached states
  • continued involvement regardless of consequences

Have you ever had to lie to people important to you about how much you gambled?
Have you ever felt the need to bet more and more money?

If you say “yes” to one or both questions, you may need help.  Call the Gambling Information Line.


Call 1-800-461-1234 for free, confidential information