For most people, gambling is entertainment. It's exciting fun with
little or no consequence. But for some, it's not just good fun -
it becomes a serious problem with severe consequence
Unfortunately for these people, gambling turns into an intense
addiction. They become obsessed with an uncontrollable urge to
gamble. This problem is called Compulsive Gambling Addiction. It is
an emotional illness with no obvious physical signs. It often
remains hidden until the financial and emotional lives of the
gambler and family are shattered. Sadly, the stress only increases
the need to gamble; it continues to grow stronger as the negative
effects pile up consequences.
Compulsive gambling can affect men and women of any age, race or
religion, regardless of their social or economic stature. Up to six
percent of U.S. residents have problems with gambling, which is only
slightly less than the 9 percent who abuse alcohol. Contrary to
public opinion, winning is not the attraction. It is the act of
gambling - the thrill of bet making and risk-taking. Winning (or
losing) does not diminish the need; the "high" comes only from
How do you know?
Most gamblers need help in recognizing the signs of compulsive
gambling. Often it is the family or friends who see the problem
The following questions are provided to help the individual decide if
he or she is a compulsive gambler.
- Do you lose time from work because of gambling?
- Is gambling making your home life unhappy?
- Is gambling affecting your reputation?
- Have you ever felt remorse over gambling?
- Do you ever gamble to get money to pay debts or otherwise solve
- Does gambling cause a decrease in your ambition or efficiency?
- After losing, do you feel you must return as soon as possible to
win back your losses?
- After a win, do you have a strong urge to return and win again?
- Do you often gamble until your last dollar is gone?
- Do you ever borrow to finance your gambling?
- Have you ever sold anything to finance your gambling?
- Are you reluctant to use "gambling money" for normal expenditures?
- Does gambling make you careless of the welfare of yourself or your family?
- Do you ever gamble longer than you had planned?
- Do you ever gamble to escape worry or trouble?
- Have you ever committed or considered an illegal act to finance gambling?
- Does gambling cause you to have difficulty sleeping?
- Do arguments, disappointments or frustrations create within you the urge to gamble?
- Do you ever have an urge to celebrate good fortune by a few hours of gambling?
- Have you ever considered self-destruction as a result of your gambling?
- Most compulsive gamblers can answer yes to at least seven of these twenty questions.
- If you bet more than you can afford to lose, you've got a problem. Call 1-800-270-7117
for free, confidential help.