What is a gambling problem?
A gambling problem is characterized by an increasing preoccupation with gambling, a need to bet more money more frequently, restlessness or irritability when attempting to stop gambling, and/or continued gambling despite serious negative consequences.
Consider the following…
- Over 80 percent of Americans gamble every year and between three and five percent of Americans have a gambling problem. The State University of New York at Buffalo Research Institute on Addictions
- Between six and eight million adults and 500,000 teens meet the criteria for gambling addiction, approximately the same number who abuse prescription drugs. The National Council on Problem Gambling Report to United States House of Representatives (PDF)
- Estimates of the annual social cost of gambling-related addiction, bankruptcy and crime approach seven billion. The National Council on Problem Gambling Report to United States House of Representatives (PDF)
- A study in Southern California found that 10.7 percent of casino patrons were classified as “problem gamblers,” with 29.2 percent adjudged to be “at risk” and 29.8 percent seen as having a potential “gambling disorder.” Springer Journal of Gambling Studies
- Nearly 90 percent of people diagnosed with a gambling disorder do not seek treatment. National Center for Responsible Gaming, Top 10 Research Studies Impacting Gambling Disorders
- Approximately 1 percent of the general adult population in the United States has, or has had, a gambling disorder in their lifetime. An additional 2 percent have had some problems with gambling in their lifetime but have not met diagnostic criteria for a gambling disorder. National Center for Responsible Gaming, Gambling and Health in the Workplace (PDF)