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Contents

  1. How Casinos Enable Gambling Addicts - The Atlantic
  2. Related Content
  3. What's to know about gambling addiction
  4. A JOURNEY: FROM CHILD TO ADULT COMPULSIVE GAMBLER BY ROBERT MCGUIGAN

Personal resources are often completely exhausted and borrowing money becomes the norm. Money is borrowed from the bank or withdrawn from the gambler's business. Loans are often hidden from partners, parents, spouses, other relatives and friends. To cut losses and pay back loans, the gambler spends more and more time on gambling.

How Casinos Enable Gambling Addicts - The Atlantic

Normal daily activities become a burden and a gambler's performance at work suffers from carelessness and neglect. When the gambler borrows even more money from friends and family, the isolation and secrecy increase and the gambler's social circle begins to collapse.

Why Young Father Who Has Lost $60,000 Says He Continues To Gamble

As this gambling obsession increases, the losses become heavier. It becomes more and more difficult to return to recreational gambling or to stop. The gambler is now "chasing their losses. The gambler is now looking for the "big win" to recover all losses and does not recognize the futility of this effort. At this point, the gambling problem not only leaves a mark on the daily life of the gambler, but the gambler's family as well.

In this stage, the gambler still assumes that they can pay everything back. Again and again, the gambler promises to stop gambling. Confrontations on this promise lead to regular domestic and professional conflicts, particularly when the gambler is found to have resumed gambling. A gambler can lose a job because of absenteeism, embezzlement or other fraudulent behavior. Some problem gamblers begin to move from job to job in search of one which allows more time to gamble.

In this losing phase, a problem gambler begins to think of gambling as a solution to an increasing variety of personal, professional and financial problems. Gambling ultimately becomes a full-time activity. Partners or parents react by showing their contempt. Families also become desperate at this point. They try to enlist the aid of other people, because they find that all their own efforts to help have failed. The gambler will perform a job with increasing carelessness, finding it more and more difficult to concentrate or focus on work.

If the job means working for an employer where money is handled, they are at an increased risk for embezzlement to occur.

2. Some games are “good” games — or at least better.

If the problem gambler owns a business, it can become the source of funds which can lead to bankruptcy. It is at this point that the gambler's optimism for that big win finally fades. The gambler will be quick to anger and very nervous. Sleep disorders may also become apparent.

Even food loses its appeal as the gambler watches the joy of living disappear. In this stage, the gambler may have a winning streak, but this leads to even heavier gambling and greater losses. In the desperation phase, the gambler becomes a physical and emotional wreck--desperate and helpless. Creditors, threatening letters and financial crises become a fact of life. A compulsive gambler will react physically and emotionally in much the same way as an alcohol or drug addict. The problem gambler may become completely isolated from family and friends. Divorce and broken relations often result.

Heavy attacks of depression occur. In this final stage, gamblers often see only four solutions:. In fact adolescents are 2 to 4 times more likely than adults to have this problem. Because social gambling quickly moves to problem gambling, and wagering is thought of as an adult privilege, adolescents are more susceptible to developing this behavior.

They say they need more billboards, TV and radio ads and sophisticated social media campaigns to educate the public about how to identify the warning signs of problem gambling. DHS officials said the stigma around gambling addiction is greater than substance abuse, since there are fewer outward signs of trouble and many people still doubt that gambling addiction is a real disease. DHS officials said they are planning a push in March to coincide with Problem Gambling Awareness Month, which will include a new website, as well as mailers, flyers and posters distributed around the state.

A lack of clinicians certified to treat gambling addiction has also made it hard to tackle the problem, according to DHS. Although many people who attend the meetings say they believe the program helps them, a majority of those meetings are held in and around Chicago, leaving gambling addicts outside the metropolitan area with fewer options.

Donald Black, of the Carver College of Medicine at the University of Iowa and a prominent gambling researcher who has studied addiction in Illinois. One measure has proved somewhat effective at helping problem gamblers: a registry, called a self-exclusion list, that allows people to bar themselves from gambling. But the state has yet to implement one for video gambling.


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A gaming board memo that examines self-exclusion programs around the world suggests the impact on revenue is among the biggest obstacles. Because any self-exclusion list would probably cut into revenue, the industry would likely oppose it. Of those, nearly 38 percent, or about 5,, say video gambling was why they applied to be placed on the list, according to gaming board statistics. Self-exclusion lists are easier to enforce at casinos because there are only 10, gaming board officials said. If people on the list are caught gambling, they must forfeit winnings, which are donated to nonprofits that tackle gambling addiction.

They can also be charged with trespassing.

Related Content

Other countries have established self-exclusion lists for video gambling. Sweden, for instance, requires anyone who wants to play video slot and poker machines outside of casinos to register and receive a player card or government-issued ID, which must be swiped at each device before a bet can be placed. Illinois legislators could require the board to implement a self-exclusion list — and provide funding to study the issue — but have made no move to do so.

Gamblers on the casino self-exclusion lists and clinicians said the lack of one for video gambling has added obstacles to their recovery. Another option to combat problem gambling is to add technology to the machines to control play. Some provinces in Canada have installed tracking devices on video slot and poker games to limit the time and money spent on each machine.

In Illinois, gaming board officials said they believe these measures are ineffective, since players can simply move to other machines or locations. Teenagers are among a growing population of problem gamblers, according to treatment providers. Some video gambling machines are located in places where no one checks that players are at least 21, the legal age for gambling in Illinois. The legislature has failed to enact basic measures other states follow to help prevent underage gamblers from using the machines, such as requiring a manager on duty to check identification or keeping machines out of view of those under The gaming board only began enforcing the ban on underage video gambling in September , three years after the games went live, according to a review of meeting minutes.

We need to do more, and I think that is one area that has suffered from a lack of resources.

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What's to know about gambling addiction

A year-old Gamblers Anonymous member named Leon, who asked to be identified only by his first name, said he realized he was a problem gambler when he lost money he had set aside to pay his mortgage and had to tell his husband. When he called a video gambling company to ask about a self-exclusion list, he was told he should just keep away from establishments with the machines, he said.

Sitting in his recliner on a brisk, sunny autumn afternoon, his pudgy dog Nikki snoring on the carpet beside him, Orville Dash said he had managed to stay away from the machines for three or four months. Only his ailments were keeping him home. A recovering alcoholic and former longtime smoker, Dash said he entered a treatment program for alcohol abuse while at Caterpillar in the s.

There, he learned about the step program, which he has used in his efforts to quit gambling. In , as he began to confront his addiction, Dash wrote himself a letter as part of his recovery effort. I have some confidence I can overcome this addiction. Two years later, as he reviewed the calculations showing how much he had lost, his confidence had waned.

A JOURNEY: FROM CHILD TO ADULT COMPULSIVE GAMBLER BY ROBERT MCGUIGAN

A health provider will be able to refer the person to an appropriate treatment provider. Advice from the APA for those who care for a person with a gambling addiction includes the following :. Depression is a mood disorder characterized by low mood, a feeling of sadness, and a general loss of interest in things.

Depression is not a…. Loneliness is an epidemic and a major risk factor for premature death, recent research suggests.


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