Programs and services
For many people, gambling can be a harmless form of entertainment. But when gambling goes from being a recreation to an obsession, it becomes a problem. It can become a devastating addiction, damaging family relationships, ending friendships, jobs and even lives. Whether buying lottery tickets, going to a casino or playing poker with friends, a person may have a gambling problem that causes negative psychological, physical, social and vocational consequences. Problem gambling affects people of all cultures, ethnicities, ages, genders and incomes.
If not addressed, problem gambling can lead to gambling disorder, which is a diagnosable addictive disorder. Gambling disorder is a progressive addiction characterized by:
- A need to gamble greater amounts to reach the desired excitement
- Frequent preoccupation with gambling
- A need to bet more money more frequently
- Restlessness or irritability when trying to cut down or stop gambling
- An inability to stop gambling despite serious negative consequences, such as loss of significant relationships, job, educational or career opportunity