Who is a problem gambler?

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Step 12
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Who is a problem gambler?

Post by Step 12 » Tue Feb 09, 2016 1:04 am

Who is a problem gambler?

A problem gambler is a person who is spending time and money gambling in such a way that it is harmful to him or her.

A severe problem gambler is known as a compulsive or pathological gambler. The main symptom is a loss of control over gambling.

Loss of control can be described in the following ways:

1. Gambling will escalate, as one needs to take greater risks to maintain a certain level of excitement or to try to win back one’s money.

2. Some can’t stop gambling when they are ahead. If they win money, they feel they can win more by betting again. But, eventually, luck runs out and problem gamblers will continue gambling until all their money is gone.

3. There are those who say they won’t gamble again and find themselves gambling again, no matter how hard they try not to.

Profile of the Pathological Gambler

As gambling problems grow, there can be an increase in feelings of shame, guilt, and depression.

A person may be a problem or pathological gambler but have problems with only one form of gambling. For example, some problem gamblers may buy a lottery ticket each week and never have problems with that form of gambling but have substantial problems with sports betting.

There are also binge gamblers, who don’t have urges or think about gambling between episodes. They may only bet one sport, and show no interest in gambling the rest of the year, or they may go to Las Vegas three or a half dozen times a year, and have no urges or desires the rest of the year. These gamblers can still cause problems in their lives due to large betting losses created by just a few days of gambling.

Gambling involves risking something of value (usually money) on an activity or event in which the outcome is uncertain. The risk is undertaken in hopes of an immediate reward. Skill may be involved, in which case it may reduce the uncertainty but does not eliminate it.

Popular forms of gambling today include casino games, slot and video #### machines, internet gambling, the lottery, horse racing, and betting on team sports such as football or baseball. Other types of gambling include betting on individual skills, real estate speculation and stock market trading.

What are some of the signs of problem gambling?

Common signs include gambling longer than intended; betting “over one’s head,” and then “chasing” after losses; lying to family or others about how much you are gambling; missing work or family commitments because of gambling; being distracted from these other aspects of your life by the time spent thinking about gambling.

What is the difference between a problem gambler, a social gambler or a professional gambler?

Social gamblers gamble for entertainment, and typically with friends. They don’t risk more than they can afford. They accept losing as “part of the game,” and don’t “chase” their losses. Their gambling doesn’t interfere with their work or life with their family.

Professional gamblers bet to make money, not for the excitement or to avoid or escape problems. They show tremendous discipline and don’t take unnecessary risks. They usually stop when they are ahead. Many problem gamblers claim to be professional gamblers but the reality is that professional gamblers do not have problems caused by gambling. At the end of the month or the year, they are always ahead, whereas people with gambling problems are almost always behind. Many professional gamblers become problem gamblers over time.

How many people in America are problem gamblers?

In California, a survey done in 2005 showed that close to 4% of those who live in California could be classified as being a problem or pathological gambler. This means that approximately one million Californians will have a gambling problem in their lives.

Here is a link to download a Problem Gambler Self-Help Workbook that may be able to help:
Freedom From Problem Gambling
http://step12.com/files/problem-gamblin ... ook-v3.pdf

For additional information, visit
California Office of Problem Gambling

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