Overview of Compulsive Problematic Gambling


Problem gambling is gambling behavior which causes disruptions in any major area of life: psychological, physical, social or vocational.

Compulsive gambling is a progressive addiction characterized by:

-- Increasing preoccupation with gambling
-- A need to bet more money more frequently
-- Restlessness or irritability when attempting to stop
-- "Chasing" losses
-- Loss of control manifested by continuation of the gambling behavior in spite of mounting, serious, negative consequences.

Gamblers no longer need to trek to Las Vegas or Atlantic City to find the action they crave. It is available today almost everywhere. Gambling can be defined as playing a game of chance for stakes.

Gambling occurs in many forms, most commonly:

-- Pari-mutuels (horse and dog tracks, off-track-betting - parlors, Jai Alai)
-- Lotteries, casinos (slot machines, table games),
-- Bookmaking (sports books and horse books)
-- Card rooms
-- Bingo
-- Stock market

What pathological gambling?

Pathological gambling is a progressive disease that devastates not only the gambler but everyone with whom he or she has a significant relationship. In 1980, the American Psychiatric Association accepted pathological gambling as a "disorder of impulse control." It is an illness that is chronic and progressive, but it can be diagnosed and treated.

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