Signs That Someone May Be Suffering From Gambling Addiction


Gambling addiction occurs when a person needs to gamble more to get the same “high” that they experience when they win. This leads to a vicious cycle, as a person’s cravings for gambling increase and their willpower to resist it decreases. Gambling addiction can have both psychological and physical effects, as well as negative effects on a person’s life and career. Below are some signs that someone may be suffering from gambling addiction.

Defining gambling

Defining gambling is crucial for ensuring a healthy, legal environment for gambling. The definition of gambling has been criticized as too restrictive, and some argue that the term “gambling” should be expanded to include games of skill, as well as other activities that involve a high degree of risk and uncertainty. In reality, however, it is a complex issue and a broad definition of gambling might not make sense. Nevertheless, Crosby and Purdum argue that the term “gambling” should be more inclusive.

Forms of gambling

Problem gambling is a serious health problem, and researchers have studied different forms of gambling to understand what makes people more prone to this addiction. Among gambling problem individuals, about half participated in at least one form of gambling, and it seems that some forms are associated with higher risks. It is important to understand the different forms of gambling because this knowledge can inform gambling prevention and regulation efforts. Below are some of the main forms of gambling. This list is not exhaustive.

Compulsive gambling

The American Psychiatric Association has identified nine signs and symptoms of compulsive gambling. These include lying to family and friends about the nature of the problem, attempting to control gambling through self-deception, and feeling compelled to continue gambling in order to make up for lost money. The full list of symptoms can be found here. For those who suspect they are afflicted with compulsive gambling, a visit to a doctor is essential.

Problematic gambling

Financial harms associated with problem gambling are widespread and disproportionately affect people from disadvantaged groups and the poorest socioeconomic groups. The extent of financial harms also varies among different populations; indigenous people are particularly vulnerable to them. Gambling-related violence increases the risk of family homicide, child abuse, and dating and sexual violence. Problematic gamblers are also at a higher risk for developing psychotic disorders, including a gambling problem.


Many types of treatment for gambling addiction are available. Individual therapy is one type of treatment that focuses on a single issue, such as a person’s gambling problem. Cognitive therapy is another type of treatment that focuses on the underlying beliefs that lead to gambling behavior. Cognitive therapy also involves identifying and correcting any misconceptions or preconceived ideas about gambling, which can lead to unhealthy behaviors. Community support groups and intensive residential or outpatient programs are also helpful.