What is Problem Gambling?
Gambling is defined as risking something of value on an unknown outcome that depends on chance.
Gambling becomes a problem when it compromises, disrupts or damages any major area of life, such as job, financial, or personal.
Problem gambling is characterized by the inability to resist the impulse to gamble, even when there are negative consequences. In extreme cases, problem gambling can result in financial ruin, legal problems, loss of career and family, or even suicide.
Types of Gambling
- Slot machines
- OTB historical racing machines
- Sports betting
- Fantasy sports
- Internet betting
- Horse betting
- Pull tabs
How does problem gambling impact me?
- An estimated 8-10 people are affected by one individual’s gambling problem.
- Gambling addiction affects 6-9 million Americans, or 2-3% of the population.
- Problem gambling is a public health issue that impacts relationships, families, businesses, and communities.
Who is at risk for a gambling problem?
- Problem gambling does not discriminate based on age, gender, religion, social status or education. Anyone can develop a gambling problem.
- Gambling problems may develop with any form of gambling activity.
- Groups at high risk include seniors, adolescents, college students, athletes, and veterans.
Problem Gambling Symptoms
- Need to gamble with increasing amounts of money in order to achieve the desired excitement
- Restless or irritable when attempting to cut down or stop gambling
- Have made repeated unsuccessful efforts to control, cut back, or stop gambling
- Preoccupied with gambling (e.g., having persistent thoughts of reliving past gambling experiences, handicapping or planning the next venture, thinking of ways to get money with which to gamble)
- Often gambles when feeling distressed (e.g., helpless, guilty, anxious, depressed)
- After losing money gambling, often returns another day to get even (“chasing” one’s losses)
- Lie to conceal the extent of involvement with gambling
- Jeopardized or lost a significant relationship, job, education or career opportunity because of gambling
- Rely on others to provide money to relieve desperate financial situations caused by gambling
Help is Available
National Problem Gambling Hotline: 1-800-522-4700 (call or text)
Find a Wyoming ICGC Certified Problem Gambling Counselor:
- Central Wyoming Community Counseling: (307) 237-9583
- Curran-Seeley Foundation: (307) 733-3908
- Fremont Counseling: (307) 332-2231
- Volunteers of America Northern Rockies:(307) 672-0475