About Problem Gambling
Do You Have A Gambling Concern?
If you think you or someone you care about has a gambling problem call our confidential, 24/7 Helpline at: 1-800-522-4700. Specialists in problem gambling are there to assist you in finding local resources. Helpline services are available in over 100 languages with the use of ATT language line. TTY services are also available to all callers.
What Is Problem Gambling?
Problem gambling is any gambling, betting or wagering that causes family, financial, legal, emotional or other problems for the gambler, their family or others. Gambling problems can be mild or quite severe and can worsen over time.
Also known as compulsive gambling or pathological gambling and first recognized by the American Psychiatric Association as an impulse control disorder in 1980 as a result of the pioneering work of Robert Custer M.D. Pathological gambling is classified in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, fourth edition (DSM IV), published by the American Psychiatric Association.
- Gambling more frequently or for longer than intended
- Lying about where money goes
- Declining work or school performance
- Borrowing money in order to gamble
- Increasing preoccupation with gambling
- Distancing or isolating from family or friends
- Unable to pay bills or cover expenses
- Chasing losses, or returning the next day to win back what was lost
- Have you committed or considered committing a crime to finance your gambling
- Have you made repeated unsuccessful efforts to control or stop your gambling
Help is available
Call the Helpline 1-800-522-4700 and speak with someone who can get you to the help you may need.
All calls are free
All calls are confidential
Call anytime, 24 hours a day
Effects of Problem Gambling
- Problem gamblers may resort to crimes to pay gambling debts, or to keep gambling. Often non-violent, or “white collar” crimes such as bad checks, forgery, credit card fraud, theft, embezzlement or tax related crimes.
- Major depression is one of the most common co-occurring disorders among problem gamblers presenting for care at up to 70%.
- Problem gamblers who present for care have one of the highest suicide attempt rate among the addictions. Two of every ten gamblers or over 20% have made a serious suicide attempt.
- Children of problem gamblers may be victims of abuse and neglect as a result of their parents gambling.
- Studies also indicate adolescents whose parents gamble too much have higher rates of gambling and other high risk behaviors.
Source: National Council on Problem Gambling