More than 80 percent of adults gamble at least once a year, and for most, it is a harmless form of entertainment. For some though, gambling isn’t harmless. It is a serious problem.
Problem gambling is often defined by whether harm is experienced by the gambler or others. Problem gambling is an urge to gamble despite negative consequences or a desire to stop. Gambling disorders, like drug and alcohol disorders, affect people from every race, economic background and gender. A problem gambler will wager on whatever game is available, sometimes even creating bets on ordinary, everyday activities.
A simple two-question self-test can help indicate whether someone has a gambling problem.
- Have you ever felt the need to bet more and more money?
- Have you ever had to lie to people important to you about how much you gambled?
If the answer is “yes” to either question, it is likely there may be a gambling problem.