compulsive gambling

Also found in: Medical.

compulsive gambling


pathological gambling,

a psychological disorder characterized by a persistent inability to resist the impulse to gamble. The disorder is progressive and typically results in difficulties in one's personal, social, and work life; it may lead to bankruptcy or criminal activity to obtain money. The prevalence of compulsive gambling in the United States has increased with that of gamblinggambling
or gaming,
betting of money or valuables on, and often participation in, games of chance (some involving degrees of skill). In England and in the United States, gambling was not a common-law crime if conducted privately.
..... Click the link for more information.
 itself, and it has been estimated that up to 3% of the adult population may gamble pathologically.

Most gamblers are able to stay within reasonable limits in the amounts they gamble. Compulsive gamblers tend to lose control of the amounts they risk and cannot stop gambling even when they continue to lose. Although money is important to them, they often say they are looking for "action," an excited or euphoric state comparable to the "high"of drug abuse. They often use gambling as a way of escaping from problems in daily life or from feelings of depression or anxiety. Eventually, compulsive gamblers may engage in forgery, theft, or other crimes to provide money for continued gambling or to alleviate a desperate financial situation resulting from gambling losses.

Compulsive gambling is a highly treatable disorder. For many, psychotherapy and active participation in Gamblers Anonymous, a support group with local chapters patterned on Alcoholics AnonymousAlcoholics Anonymous
(AA), worldwide organization dedicated to the treatment of alcoholics; founded 1935 by two alcoholics, one a New York broker, the other an Ohio physician. They developed a 12-step program that has made coping with alcoholism possible for countless people.
..... Click the link for more information.
, have proven effective.


See F. Barthelme and S. Barthelme, Double Down: Reflections on Gambling and Loss (1999).

References in periodicals archive ?
He said punters had to register as members or keep going back to the counter to place bets of more than PS50, as part of measures to limit compulsive gambling.
Gambling is one such experience; anything casino-related has to warn potential patrons of the dangers of compulsive gambling.
My wife has stuck by me over the years with my compulsive gambling.
DSAMH subscribes to the beliefs, substantiated by research, that: *Alcoholism, drug dependence, mental illnesses and compulsive gambling are treatable medical conditions that individuals can and do recover from if provided access to care and evidence-based practice interventions.
The 43-year-old, whose name has been changed to protect his identity, is now penniless and steeped in debt, having blown his and much of his family's cash through compulsive gambling.
The only people who stay in recovery are those who reach their hand out and help other people," says Arnie Wexler, a recovering compulsive gambler (last bet: April 10, 1968) whose numerous roles in recovery have included executive director of the Council on Compulsive Gambling of New Jersey and senior vice president of the National Council on Problem Gambling.
Compulsive gambling is a condition that can destroy lives.
Later in life, my guilt manifested itself in addiction, alcoholism and compulsive gambling.
Other conditions of probation imposed by the judge will require the priest to undergo a mental health evaluation and any related treatment recommended by the Probation Department, to continue with his treatment for compulsive gambling and to speak publicly twice a year about the dangers of gambling.
Despite the changes to the scientific understanding of excessive-gambling behaviors, the ADA's exclusion of compulsive gambling remains the law.
Det Sgt Paul Reeves, of West Midlands Police CID in Bloxwich, said: "His motivation for these crimes was brought about by his dire financial position fuelled by his compulsive gambling at the casino.
The main scam is how two compulsive gambling brothers developed a foolproof system where every bet they placed was a winner.