In faith communities, leaders have an opportunity to offer meaningful help and guidance during difficult times. Gambling problems can be very serious, but can also be overcome with the right tools, care, and support. Leaders and members of the faith community are often in a unique position to observe a potential gambling problem. The following signs can be indicative of problem gambling:

  • Gambling longer than planned
  • Gambling until the last dollar is gone
  • Thoughts of gambling preoccupy daily life
  • Bills begin to go unpaid
  • Attempts to stop gambling are unsuccessful
  • Criminal activity to fuel gambling
  • Borrowing money from friends and family
  • Feelings of depression or suicide after losing
  • Feelings of remorse after gambling
  • Gambling to meet financial obligations


There are several ways that faith communities can address a gambling problem:

  • Educate youth regarding risk factors, signs of a gambling problem, prevention and how to access help
  • Include articles or information in a weekly bulletin or newsletter
  • Utilize display boards to post educational materials
  • Include the Problem Gambling Helpline number on appropriate materials
  • Incorporate problem gambling into any existing substance abuse education and awareness programs
  • Host Gambler’s Anonymous and/or Gam-Anon meetings


Find a counselor to work with in your area or have materials sent to you in order to better equip your organization and help start the conversation.