About Problem Gambling

Definition and Prevalence of Problem Gambling

Problem gambling is gambling behavior that causes disruptions in any major area of life: psychological, physical, social, spiritual or vocational. The term "Problem Gambling" includes, but is not limited to, the condition known as "Pathological," or "Compulsive Gambling," a progressive addiction characterized by an increasing preoccupation with gambling, a need to bet more money more frequently, restlessness or irritability when attempting to stop, "chasing" losses, and loss of control manifested by continuation of the gambling behavior in spite of mounting, serious, negative consequences. It is estimated that as many as 4 percent of gamblers may develop a gambling problem.

Problem Gambling Warning Signs

Spends a lot of time gambling - may miss work, school, family obligations, or other important events.

Hides gambling losses - frequently talks about the wins but keeps losses and information about family finances to themselves.

Gambles to escape - uses gambling to escape from pressures at home or work; also a person may gamble out of loneliness or grief.

Suffers severe mood swings - a person's state of mind depends on whether or not gambling, the person may become anxious or angry.

Bets increase in size - bets higher amounts in the hope of breaking even or winning back losses.

Tries to stop gambling, but can't - a compulsive gambler may try to stop gambling, but in most cases is unable to quit without help.

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