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 having a problem gambling disorder, 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
- Typically, people who struggle with gambling disorder have spent several years facing detrimental challenges and haven’t sought help. Sage Journals
- 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)