Financial Health and Gambling Harm

Financial health can be as important as mental and emotional health regarding gambling harm. Financial problems can be one of the first signs of a gambling problem. With the increase of availability to gamble in New York State, it’s important to be aware of the signs of financial problems due to gambling harm.


In New York State, there are many opportunities to gamble. Whether you’re online, at the grocery store, or gathering with friends and family, gambling opportunities are available. Sometimes, individuals who choose to gamble may not even recognize how much money they may be spending on gambling. The Cost of Problem Gambling is a helpful tool for individuals to see their gambling spending.


Financial struggles may be a sign of a gambling problem, but it is just that; a sign or a symptom. Money is not the problem. Money is the tool to continue their gambling. Individuals affected by gambling harm often believe that money is the problem and money will make it better. This leads to “chasing” losses, which means to continue gambling to recoup losses with a big win. Chasing losses can become a devastating gambling cycle leading to additional losses and further financial problems.

Gambler’s Fallacy

It’s important to note that, even with a win, individuals struggling with gambling harm will continue to gamble. They’ll be affected by the gambler’s fallacy. The gambler’s fallacy is the belief that their big win is due. Even with a big win, individuals may be affected by the gambler’s fallacy by believing that the win is proof that they’re having a lucky streak or day. This will lead to more gambling and, often, more losses.

The Impact of Gambling Harm on Finances

If you or a loved one are struggling with gambling harm, you may see some of the warning signs that impact your finances:

  • Overdue bills.
  • Maxed out credit cards.
  • Regularly short of money, despite adequate income.
  • Cannot provide for basic needs (food, clothing, shelter, etc.).
  • Reliance on borrowing money from friends, family, or coworkers.
  • Develop a pattern of extremely high-risk investing or frequent trading.
  • Money pulled from home equity, savings, investment, or retirement accounts.
  • Household and personal items are pawned or sold for cash.
  • Frequent, multiple payday loans or cash-advances.
  • Property repossessed.
  • Home in foreclosure.

What Can I Do If I Am Struggling?  

If you find yourself struggling with gambling harm, or if you suspect someone you know is facing such challenges, don’t hesitate to seek help. For 24/7 support, call the NYS OASAS HOPEline at 1-877-846-7369 or text 467369. Or choose your county using our interactive map on our NYProblemGamblingHELP.orgHOME PAGEto see the contact information for the Problem Gambling Resource Center (PGRC) in your region.