The Importance of Screening

Screening for Problem Gambling 

March is Problem Gambling Awareness Month (PGAM). Throughout the month of March the Problem Gambling Resource Centers (PGRC) work to spread awareness about problem gambling, how to access resources and the importance of screening. Problem gambling is referred to as the hidden addiction, it is often easy to hide and does not present visible physical warning signs.  

Why is screening important?  

When we go to the doctor, they ask us questions about our health to catch any problems we may have. Just like a check-in at the doctor, screening for problem gambling can help keep us healthy. When we take the time to answer the screening questions, we are checking our health and well-being as it pertains to gambling. The PGRC’s define problem gambling as any time gambling is causing a problem in your life. That can mean troubles with finances, relationships, or your physical and mental health. When you screen yourself for problem gambling you are taking a step to better your health and get resources if you are struggling. In addition, you are raising your awareness about how gambling could become a problem.  

Available Screening Tools  

If you think gambling is becoming a problem, take a brief screening. Screening determines if you should call and get information. There are several brief screening tools that can identify if gambling may be affecting your life. There are two screens the PGRC’s recommend:   

 Lie-Bet Tool:   

  • Have you ever had to lie to people important to you about how much you gambled? 
  • Have you ever felt the need to bet more and more money?  

 Brief Biosocial Gambling Screen (BBS): 

  • During the past 12 months, have you become restless, irritable or anxious when trying to cut/stop down on gambling?  
  • During the last 12 months, have you tried to keep your family or friends from knowing how much you’ve gambled?  
  • During the past 12 months did you have such financial trouble as A result of your gambling that you had to get help with living expenses from family, friends or welfare? 

If you answer yes to one or more of these questions reach out to your local PGRC to for information or resources near you.  

Online E-Screener 

The PGRC also has an online e-screener if you think you may be struggling with your gambling. The screening tool is completely anonymous and can help you identify if gambling is causing difficulties in your life. Click Here to take the online e-screener.  


Recovery from problem gambling is a journey and the Problem Gambling Resource Centers in New York State are here to help. If you or someone you know is looking for assistance, it is only a phone call away. Visit to find the resource center in your region.