Do you have a Gambling Problem?

Sports betting can be a fun and profitable venture. However, like most good things in life there are pitfalls to be aware of. You should be able to enjoy many positive experiences as long as you bet in moderation and under control.

We know you have heard this before but it definitely bears repeating: don’t bet money you can’t afford to lose, either emotionally or financially.

Please be aware of the following:

The American Psychiatric Association classifies compulsive gambling, also called pathologic gambling, as an impulse-control disorder. It says the disorder has strong parallels to substance dependence. To meet the American Psychiatric Association’s diagnostic criteria for compulsive gambling, one must show persistent gambling behavior as indicated by at least five of the following:

  • Being preoccupied with gambling (e.g., preoccupied with reliving past gambling experiences, handicapping or planning the next venture, or thinking of ways to get money with which to gamble).
  • Needing to gamble with increasing amounts of money to achieve desired excitement.
  • Having repeated unsuccessful efforts to cut back or stop gambling.
  • Being restless or irritable when attempting to cut down or stop gambling.
  • Gambling as a way of escaping problems or of relieving dysphoric mood (e.g., feelings of helplessness, guilt, anxiety, depression).
  • After losing money gambling, often returning another day to get even (“chasing” one’s losses).
  • Lying to family members, therapist or others to conceal extent of involvement with gambling.
  • Having committed illegal acts such as forgery, fraud, theft, or embezzlement to finance gambling.
  • Having jeopardized or lost a significant relationship, job, or educational or career opportunity because of gambling.
  • Relying on others to provide money to relieve a desperate financial situation caused by gambling.

These criteria – published in the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th Edition, 1994 – also say that to meet the definition of compulsive gambling, the gambling behavior must not be related to an underlying manic disorder.

If you or someone you know shows many of the above characteristics please take the necessary steps to find help.

Gamblers Anonymous offers the following questions to anyone new to online casino who may have a gambling problem. These questions are provided to help the individual decide if he or she is a compulsive gambler and wants to stop the problem.

Twenty Questions to determine Gambling Problem

  1. Did you ever lose time from work or school due to gambling problem?
  2. Has gambling ever made your home life unhappy?
  3. Did gambling affect your reputation?
  4. Ever felt remorse after gambling?
  5. Ever gamble to get money with which to pay debts or otherwise solve financial difficulties?
  6. Did gambling cause a decrease in your ambition or efficiency?
  7. After losing did you feel you must return as soon as possible and win back your losses?
  8. After a win had a strong urge to return and win more?
  9. Gambled until your last dollar was gone?
  10. Ever borrow to finance your gambling?
  11. Ever sold anything to finance gambling?
  12. Reluctant to use “gambling money” for normal expenditures?
  13. Did gambling make you careless of the welfare of yourself or your family?
  14. Ever gamble longer than you had planned?
  15. Ever gambled to escape worry, problem or trouble?
  16. Ever committed, or considered committing, an illegal act to finance gambling?
  17. Did gambling cause you sleeping problem?
  18. Do arguments, disappointments, problems or frustrations create within you an urge to gamble?
  19. Ever have an urge to celebrate any good fortune by a few hours of gambling?
  20. Ever considered self destruction or suicide as a result of your gambling to stop the problem?

Most compulsive gamblers with the problem will answer yes to at least seven of these questions.


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