Spotting Signs Of Potential Harm

Despite the fact that the law stipulates that most gambling activities should be restricted to people are aged 18 years and above, over 55,000 11-16 year olds are classed as problem gamblers (Gambling Commission, 2019). 

Are you concerned that someone you know is experiencing gambling-related harm?

Are you unsure of what to look out for?

Knowing the warning signs can help you decide what action to take. 

It is common to notice changes in the person’s finances, mood and behaviour or how they spend their time.  

Financial signs 

  • Money missing from bank accounts, wallet/purse or money jar 
  • Household items and valuables missing 
  • Regularly short of money even though they earn a wage 
  • Borrowing money on a regular basis 
  • Having many loans at the one time 
  • Being secretive about financial records or payslips 

Mood and behavioural signs 

  • Becoming withdrawn from others/family events 
  • Performance at school/work is affected 
  • Seeming worried, agitated or upset for no apparent reason 
  • Reporting feeling hopeless, depressed, frustrated or suicidal 
  • Changes in personality – sleeping, eating, or sexual relationship patterns 
  • Controlling and/or manipulative behaviour 
  • Using threats, lies or charm to manipulate others 

Time-related signs 

  • Spending more and more time gambling 
  • Being secretive about unexplained absences 
  • Often being late for commitments 
  • Taking a lot of sick days or days off 
  • Taking an unusual amount of time to complete simple tasks

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Further Gaming Advice


This section provides information on what parents need to know about gambling.


Educating parents around what gambling-related harm is and how it can impact young people’s lives.


Providing advice to parents on how to spot the signs of harm and how to talk to your children about gambling.