A study conducted for the National Gambling Impact Study Commission in 1999 estimated 3 million adults in the U.S. are considered problem gamblers. Another 2 million are pathological gamblers.
Pathological or compulsive gambling, on the other hand, is defined as someone who cannot resist the temptation to gamble. Pathological or compulsive gambling is a chronic and progressive disease.
By the courtesy of Gamblers Anonymous, following questions are available to anyone who feels he or she may have a gambling problem and wants to stop gambling.
Compulsive gamblers usually answer “yes” to at least seven of the following questions:
- Do you lose time from work due to gambling?
- Does gambling make your home life unhappy?
- Does gambling affect your reputation?
- Do you ever feel remorse after gambling?
- Do you ever gamble to get money to pay debts or otherwise solve financial difficulties?
- Does gambling cause a decrease in your ambition or efficiency?
- After losing, do you feel you must return as soon as possible to win back your losses?
- After a win, do you have a strong urge to return and win more?
- Do you often gamble until your last dollar is gone?
- Do you ever borrow to finance your gambling?
- Have you ever sold anything to finance gambling?
- Are you reluctant to use “gambling money” for normal expenditures?
- Does gambling make you careless about the welfare of yourself or your family?
- Do you ever gamble longer than expected?
- Do you ever gamble to escape worry or trouble?
- Do you ever commit, or consider committing, an illegal act to finance your gambling?
- Does gambling cause you to have difficulty sleeping?
- Do arguments, disappointments, or frustrations create within you an urge to gamble?
- Do you have an urge to celebrate good fortune by a few hours of gambling?
- Do you ever consider a self-destruction as a result of your gambling?