What is Problem Gambling?

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Originally Posted: March 13, 2005

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Problem gambling is gambling behavior that causes disruptions in any major area of life: psychological, physical, social or vocational. The term "problem gambling" includes 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 consequences, according to the National Council on Problem Gambling.

ON THE WEB: www.ncpgambling.org


Gamblers Anonymous offers the following questions to anyone who may have a gambling problem. These questions are provided to help the individual decide if he or she is a compulsive gambler and wants to stop gambling.

• Did you ever lose time from work or school due to gambling?

• Has gambling ever made your home life unhappy?

• Did gambling affect your reputation?

• Have you ever felt remorse after gambling?

• Did you ever gamble to get money with which to pay debts or otherwise solve financial difficulties?

• Did gambling cause a decrease in your ambition or efficiency?

• After losing did you feel you must return as soon as possible and win back your losses?

• After a win did you have a strong urge to return and win more?

• Did you often gamble until your last dollar was gone?

• Did you ever borrow to finance your gambling?

• Have you ever sold anything to finance gambling?

• Were you reluctant to use "gambling money" for normal expenditures?

• Did gambling make you careless of the welfare of yourself or your family?

• Did you ever gamble longer than you had planned?

• Have you ever gambled to escape worry or trouble?

• Have you ever committed, or considered committing, an illegal act to finance gambling?

• Did gambling cause you to have difficulty in sleeping?

• Do arguments, disappointments or frustrations create within you an urge to gamble?

• Did you ever have an urge to celebrate any good fortune by a few hours of gambling?

• Have you ever considered self-destruction or suicide as a result of your gambling?

Most compulsive gamblers will answer yes to at least seven of these questions.


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