Youth Gambling Self Assessment

Gambling, like other addictions, evolves as you get older. The earlier you start, the worse it can get and the consequences will catch up to you. If you are concerned that gambling may be an issue, take this Self-Test for Teens.

  1. Do your friends gamble a lot?       Yes       No
  2. Have you ever gambled at school?        Yes       No
  3. Have you ever stayed away from school or work to gamble?        Yes       No
  4. Is gambling more important than school or work?       Yes       No
  5. Do you often spend your free time involved in gambling activities like poker or sports betting?       Yes       No
  6. Do you find gambling to be the most exciting activity you do?       Yes       No
  7. When you are gambling, do you lose track of the time and forget about everything else?        Yes       No
  8. Do you often daydream about gambling?       Yes       No
  9. Do you feel your friends are envious of you when you win money at gambling, and that you get extra attention because of gambling?       Yes       No
  10. When you win, do you want to gamble more because you believe that you will continue
  11. the winning streak?        Yes       No
  12. When you lose, do you feel you must bet as soon as possible to win back your losses?       Yes       No
  13. Do you often gamble with money you originally intended to use for other things…like lunch money, gas money, clothing money, money for CDs, MP3s, etc.?       Yes       No
  14. Do you ever “borrow” money from parents or friends to gamble?       Yes       No
  15. Have you ever sold a favorite possession or something very special to you to get money to gamble or pay a gambling debt?       Yes       No
  16. Do you try to prevent your family and friends from knowing how much and how often you
  17. gamble?        Yes       No
  18. Do you ever lie about your gambling? For example, do you ever tell people that you did not gamble or that you won money gambling when in fact you had lost money or possessions?       Yes       No
  19. Do you get into arguments with your parents because of gambling or with your friends over a gambling activity?       Yes       No
  20. Do you feel depressed or lose sleep or feel guilty because you lost money gambling?       Yes       No
  21. Have you ever thought of suicide as a way of solving your problems?       Yes       No
  22. Does one or both of your parents do a lot of gambling?        Yes       No


*Test prepared by Durand F. Jacobs, Ph.D., Redlands, California
Source: “A Fourteen Year Old Plays Cards for Cash; It is More Than Fun and Games?”
The Brown University Child and Adolescent Behavior Letter, 4, 1-3. (1995).
Content courtesy of the California Council on Problem Gambling

If you answered yes to 3-4 of the questions –it is time to ask yourself if your gambling is getting out of hand.
If you answered yes to 5-7 of the questions –You are probably losing control of your gambling. It’s time to reevaluate your gambling decisions.
If you answered yes to 8 or more questions –There is a strong possibility that you have a gambling problem and now is the time to seek appropriate help.

It is usually best to talk with your parents, grandparents, teacher or other guardian, but we know it can seem like a difficult thing to do. If you need some help before you talk with them, please call the Center for Addiction Recovery & Empowerment (CARE) at (408) 975-2730 to receive free, confidential, counseling assistance regarding your gambling behavior.

There is help, please call CARE at (408) 975-2730