Screening Tools

"Diagnosing" someone who may have a gambling problem is a process that may begin with a simple "Tool" such as the two-question "Lie/Bet" screen, and move on to a more thorough battery of scientifically tested "instruments". If you are concerned about the gambling behaviors of a student, your own gambling, or the gambling of someone else you care about, we recommend that you contact Problem Gambling Services (PGS) for more information (866-440-4375 during business hours or visit For our purposes here at "Choose the Right Path", we have included questions specific to teens.

It is VERY IMPORTANT to keep in mind that diagnosing a young person with a gambling problem is more of an "art" than a science since there is no "gold standard" youth assessment instrument. In our PGS Bettor Choice Treatment programs, we proceed very carefully and include an entire battery of psycho-social instruments before diagnosing a client.

For Teenagers

The following questions will help young gamblers evaluate their own gambling. Explain to the person that answering these questions honestly will help him/her reach a better understanding of how gambling has affected their life.
  • Do you borrow money to gamble?
  • After losing, do you try to win back losses by gambling even more?
  • Is gambling the most exciting activity in your life?
  • Are you missing school, sports and other extra-curricular activities due to gambling?
  • Are others expressing concerns about your gambling?
  • Do you lie to your friends or family about your gambling?
  • Have you gambled with money that was to be used for another purpose such as lunch, activities, transportation, or clothes?
  • Have you stolen from your family, friends, or employer to either gamble or pay back gambling debts?
  • Are you preoccupied with thoughts of gambling?
  • Have you tried to stop gambling but can’t?
  • Do you carry with you or own gambling materials such as dice, playing cards, or lottery tickets?
  • Do you think that gambling is a good way to make money?
  • Do you walk around with large amounts of money?
  • Do you gamble to escape worries, frustrations, or disappointments?
  • Do you continue to gamble even though it has brought pain to you or others?

If the young person answered ‘yes’ to one or more of these questions, s/he may have a gambling problem. We recommend that you contact a PGS Bettor Choice Program (866-440-4375) for more information and to arrange a confidential evaluation for him/her. Most services offered through the Bettor Choice Programs are at no fee.