How to Spot a Gambling Addict

spotting addiction signs

It’s difficult to spot an addict in the wild as very few actually admit to being one, even with a gun to their head! But if you know what you are looking for, there ARE addiction signs.

Prior to treatment, every addict is in the denial phase and when confronted will usually do everything possible to deny it.


The Addiction Signs

Most major addictions often display subtle signs of addiction:

  • A functioning alcoholic drinking might lose weight and become late & forgetful, which they attempt to conceal through excuses and stories
  • A person with an eating disorder might gain or lose 5kg a month, which they try to conceal with excuses and baggy clothes
  • A drug addict may have a permanent cold or marks on his body, which they try to conceal & explain in various ways
  • A gambler who has lost their entire month’s wages might come up with some detailed excuses how he didn’t get paid properly, or didn’t get his bonus

A gambling addict is difficult to spot… but not impossible.

They are hidden in plain sight, but like a magician they use misdirection and other methods to dupe the people right in front of them.

It’s nothing personal – they have to lie in order to keep their awful secret safe.

But once you know what you’ve looking for, a Gambling Addict is in fact remarkably easy to spot. So much so that you will feel incredibly stupid for not having seen it a long time ago.


Typical Excuses/Explanations

Have a look at the list below. Every normal person or gambler will tell the odd one.

But an Addicted Compulsive Gambler will cycle through ALL of these on a regular basis, maintaining the lie by remembering what they have & haven’t told you over the last 6 months.


Listen out for the following addiction signs:


  • “They paid me late.. “
  • “I didn’t get my bonus this month.. “
  • “They got my pay wrong.. “
  • “I lent my money to someone else.. “
  • “The bank have made a mistake, I’ll sort it.. “
  • “Someone has used my card, call fraud protection.. “
  • “I was mugged, honestly.. “


  • “Sorry I didn’t realise the time..”
  • “Can’t believe I lost my watch..”
  • “I broke/lost my phone..”
  • “Traffic’s bad, I’ll be home late..”
  • “They want me to work late again.. ”


  • “I’ve been at work doing a 12 hour day!”
  • “Of course I didn’t go into the bookies, how could I?”
  • “Someone had the idea to go [somewhere/to a friends/for a drink] and I just went along..”
  • “I told you I would be out – you just don’t remember?”


  • “Sorry, I didn’t realise you were trying to get hold of me.. “
  • “Service was poor, no reception.. “
  • “Something must be wrong with my phone.. “
  • “Run out of phone credit.. “


Why didn’t I spot the Addiction Signs earlier?

Before you start beating yourself up, remember that your blind spot has born out of trust and then further conditioned by the Gambler.

Note that your gambler would have felt progressively worse about this, but it was the only way they could continue to feed their addiction.

So if you are still working out if your other half is a gambling addict, pickup their phone or go through their pockets/bank statements and see how nervous/agitated they get.

But even though a gambler’s heart can be beating like a sprinter after a race, their face will remain completely calm – a deception skill they have learned over time.

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