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Pat Quinn, Governor

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  Are You . . .  

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(or someone you know) a problem gambler?

illustration of slot machines 20 questions

Most compulsive gamblers will answer yes to at least seven of these questions.

  1. Have you ever lost time from work or school due to gambling?
  2. Has gambling ever made your home life unhappy?
  3. Has gambling affected your reputation?
  4. Have you ever felt remorse after gambling?
  5. Have you ever gambled to get money with which to pay debts or otherwise solve financial difficulties?
  6. Has gambling caused a decrease in your ambition or efficiency?
  7. After losing, have you felt you must return as soon as possible to win back your losses?
  8. After a win, have you felt a strong urge to return and win more?
  9. Have you often gambled until your last dollar is gone?
  10. Have you ever borrowed to finance your gambling?
  11. Have you ever sold anything to finance gambling?
  12. Have you ever been reluctant to use "gambling money" for normal expenditures?
  13. Has gambling made you careless for the welfare of yourself or your family?
  14. Have you ever gambled longer than you had planned?
  15. Have you ever gambled to escape worry or trouble?
  16. Have you ever committed, or considered committing, an illegal act to finance gambling?
  17. Has gambling caused you to have difficulty sleeping?
  18. Have arguments, disappointments or frustrations ever created within you an urge to gamble?
  19. Have you ever had an urge to celebrate good fortune with a few hours of gambling?
  20. Have you ever considered self-destruction or suicide as a result of gambling?

  Are You . . .  

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living with a compulsive gambler?

If you are living with a compulsive gambler, you will answer yes to at least six of the following questions.

  1. Do you find yourself constantly bothered with bill collectors?
  2. Is the person in question often away from home for long, unexplained
  3. Does this person ever lose time from work due to gambling?
  4. Do you feel that this person cannot be trusted with money?
  5. Does the person in question faithfully promise that he or she will stop gambling, beg, plead for another chance, yet gamble again and again?
  6. Does this person ever gamble longer than he or she intended to, until the last dollar is gone?
  7. Does this person immediately return to gambling to try and recover losses, or to win more?
  8. Does this person ever gamble to get money to solve financial difficulties or have unrealistic expectations that gambling will bring the family material comfort and wealth?
  9. Does this person borrow money to gamble with or to pay gambling debts?
  10. Has this person's reputation ever suffered due to gambling, even to the extent of committing illegal acts to finance gambling?

  Rules for Responsible Gambling  

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  • Plan ahead, set a dollar limit
  • Set a time limit
  • Expect to lose
  • Never gamble on credit
  • Create balance in your life
  • Avoid "chasing" lost money
  • Don't gamble to deal with emotional or physical pain
  • Get educated about the risks


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For more information, contact the Illinois Department on Aging's Senior HelpLine.

Section Links

Action vs. Escape gambling
Why seniors gamble
Types of gambling
Warning signs of problem gambling
Are you a problem gambler?
Are you living with a compulsive gambler?
Rules for responsible gambling
Help and resources

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