Gambling: It’s a Gamble

By Laura Swanson, for SOS Tillamook, Prevention Program of Tillamook Family Counseling Center

DEFINING GAMBLING: Is it what you think it is?

Gambling is the wagering of money, or something of value, on an event with an uncertain outcome with the primary intent of winning additional money and/or material goods.  For some people, gambling may become a serious problem that affects all aspects of their lives.

There are many types of gambling besides at casinos and race tracks, or lottery tickets. Gambling can be done online, with apps, video games, games of skill, raffles, bingo, sports betting, and card games.

When does gambling become a problem?

Problem gambling is any gambling, betting or wagering that causes family, financial, legal, emotional or other problems for the gambler and their family. Anyone who gambles can develop a gambling problem. Problem gambling is preventable, visit to learn problem gambling prevention strategies. One of the strategies is to learn the problem gambling warning signs.


Problem gambling warning signs:

  • Gambling more frequently
  • Borrowing money in order to gamble
  • Increasing preoccupation with gambling
  • Distancing or isolating from family or friends
  • Unable to pay bills or cover expenses
  • Chasing losses, or returning the next day to win back what was lost
  • Had made repeated unsuccessful efforts to control or stop your gambling

What happens when you notice the problem gambling warning signs in someone you know?

If you notice one or more problem gambling warning signs in someone you know, start a conversation with them about gambling behaviors. When you have the conversation be sure to express concern, discuss the impacts of their gambling behaviors, and provide them with information about free and confidential problem gambling treatment. For more conversation tips visit If you would like to learn about problem gambling treatment services call the OPGR Helpline at 1-877-695-4648 (MY-LIMIT) or text 503-713-6000. Problem gambling treatment services are available at Tillamook Family Counseling Center. For questions or information call 503-842-8201 or 1-800-962-2851.

Tillamook Family Counseling Center is a problem gambling prevention site for Tillamook County. If you would like to learn more about problem gambling prevention resources and services please email Janeane Krongos at