While most people visit casinos for entertainment, there are others who view gambling as a necessity in their lives. These people suffer from problem gambling, an urge to gamble continuously despite harmful and negative consequences. Otherwise known as compulsive gambling or pathological gambling, this addiction exhibits behavioral patterns that compromise, disrupt or damage personal, family or vocational pursuits.
A person suffering from a gambling addiction will have an increasing preoccupation with gambling, a need to bet more money more frequently, “chasing” losses and restlessness or irritability when attempting to stop. In extreme cases, problem gambling can result in financial ruin, legal problems, loss of career and family or even suicide. The consequences of a gambling addiction can be devastating but there is help available for those people who need it.
If you or anyone you know has a gambling problem, call the National Problem Gambling Helping at 1-800-522-4700.