Women Gamblers

Did you know?

Photo: worried woman on payphone
  • Two-thirds of women who seek help for a gambling problem are between the ages of 40-60.
  • Although women tend to start gambling later in life than men do, they develop problems much sooner.
  • In a recent study 93% of women seeking help for their gambling problem preferred gambling at casino slot machines or on the lottery.
  • Most women fit into the category of “escape gamblers.”
  • Codependency seems to be a common characteristic of most “escape gamblers.”

The Warning Signs

A woman who gambles excessively—or is affected by a gambling problem in her family—can hide her problem well. But as someone who has face-to-face contact with a patient, customer or associate, you may be in a position to help.

Ask her if, in the last six months, she or someone cares about has ever...

  • Borrowed money in order to gamble or pay for gambling losses?
  • Thought or been told there might be a gambling problem?
  • Been untruthful about the extent of her gambling or hidden it from others?
  • Tried to stop or cut back on her gambling?


Symptoms can include depression, anxiety, high blood pressure, elevated stress levels, failure to take prescribed medication, and a general decrease in health and vitality, as well as:

  • Use of equity or savings
  • Difficulty paying household bills
  • Family or spouse conflict or neglect
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Past or pending bankruptcy
  • Excessive use of alcohol
  • Use of illegal drugs

Help and Hope

If you suspect a problem, let the gambler know that recovery is possible, especially with the help of an experienced counselor. The gambler can regain control of her life. Relationships can heal. Financial pressures can be reduced and self-esteem restored.

Information provided by the Connecticut Women’s Problem Gambling Project.