When most people think of addictions, drugs or alcohol comes to mind. However, more and more people are also starting to associate the term, addiction, with gambling. Gambling has always been a pretty popular activity, whether it was legal or not. Before there were legalized casinos, people gambled in back alleys, homes and clubs (all places they continue to gamble). There were always people who took it too far and gambled more than they could afford to lose. That hasn’t changed. In fact, since online gambling has become available, the number of people dealing with gambling addictions has risen sharply.
When people become addicted to gambling, they can’t control their impulses. Even when they know that they shouldn’t be gambling and can’t afford to, they do so any way. Neither spouses, family nor lack of money can stop them from gambling and placing bets. This can become a huge problem, especially if the person has a spouse or family that they are responsible for.
There are two primary types of gambling addicts. They are Action Gamblers and Escape Gamblers. Action Gamblers enjoy the competition and the high that comes with taking risks. They typically participate in games that require skill because they enjoy the competition.
Escape Gamblers are people that gamble in order to feel better about themselves or their lot in life. If they are going through a tough time, they may gamble to “get away.”
There are a number of signs that may be red flags that someone has a gambling addiction. This is in no way an exhaustive list, only a partial one. Common hints that someone has a gambling problem include:
- Feeling constantly compelled to gamble.
- Spending all of one’s money gambling, even when one can’t afford to.
- Constantly dreaming of making it big.
- Not being able to pay ones bills due to gambling expenses.
- Borrowing money from others to gamble.
- Fighting with family and friends about gambling.