Support for Family and Friends

How to help someone close to you.

Do you know someone who is close to you and is spending too much time and or money on online games or gambling activities?

Look for the signs…

Sometimes you might have a friend or family member who may be spending too much time or money playing social online games and or gambling. In some cases, the signs are very obvious and in others, they can be more subtle.

It is important to know the signs, so that you can seek help or support for them. Identifying any signs at an early stage can potentially help prevent a serious problem from developing. Regardless, knowing these signs and seeking support is critical.

Below, you will find a list, divided into 3 key components for signs that someone may have an excessive gaming or gambling problem. If you believe that someone is showing any or all of the signs, please refer to our Getting Help section.

Key indicators to help identify if there might be a problem:


They spend increasing amounts of time on playing or gambling.

They spend increasing amounts of time thinking and talking about playing.

They spend less and less time on activities that are priorities.

They spend increasing time planning their gameplay or gambling.

They spend less and less time with loved ones and more time playing.


They seem to spend increasing amounts of money on playing.

Gaming/gambling expenditure is becoming larger and more frequent.

Savings or bank balances are reducing.

They are unable to pay for unexpected and/or critical expenses and often miss payment due dates.

They try to borrow money, or are borrowing more frequently or borrowing larger sums of money.

They are unable to pay-back much or any of the borrowed money.


They are becoming increasingly irritable and anxious.

They are tired, have disrupted/insufficient sleep, and are neglecting healthy eating and self-care behaviours.

They may be showing signs of depression.

They seem to be spending less and less time with friends and family.

They are becoming increasingly confrontational or closed off.

They may be drinking or smoking more than usual.

PlayAware also has self-assessment tools for anyone who would like to quickly evaluate if their gameplay or gambling has a potential problem. These tools are anonymous and free.

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