What are some symptoms of a problem gambler?

 

  • Unsuccessful efforts to stop or control gambling despite negative consequences.

  • Persistent legal, fincnaial, relational, employment, parenting, or mental health problems associated with gambling.

  • Restlessness or irritability when attempting to stop or cut down on gambling.

  • Lying to cover up how often or how much money was used for gambling.

  • Using larger amounts of money to gamble.

  • Frequent loss of time when gambling.

  • Often gambles when feeling lonely, anxious, or depressed.

  • Borrows or steals from others to support gambling habit or to relieve desperate financial situations due to gambling.

Problem gambling is considered a "hidden addiction" - there is no test and no external signs.

 

Who is at risk?

  • Problem gambling does not discriminate on the basis of age, gender, religion, race, or socioeconomic status. 

  • Gambling problems may develop with any form of gambling activity.

  • Groups at high risk include seniors, adolescents, college students, athletes, and veterans.

 

Impact of Problem Gambling

Gambling addiction affects 2-3 % of the US population, or 6-8 million people. Gambling is more accessible now than at any other time in US history: 48 states allow some form of gambling. It is estimated that 8-10 people are affected by a loved one's gambling problem.

 

Consequences include:

  • Health issues including suicide, co-occurring disorders, domestic violence, and work issues.

  • Children of problem gamblers show higher rates of gambling disorders, overeating, and substance use disorders.

  • Relationship and family problems.

  • Persistent financial problems, including bankrupcy.

  • Criminal activity which may lead to legal problems.

  • Depression and other mental health concerns.