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 www.ct.gov/dmhas/problemgambling) 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.