Gambling Information

Three types of gamblers

Social Gamblers consider gambling to be a valid form of recreational activity, and maintain full control over the time, money and energy they expend on gambling. They consider the cost of gambling to be payment for entertainment.

Problem Gamblers continue to participate in gambling activities, despite having experienced negative consequences as a direct result of gambling. All gambling addicts are problem gamblers, although not all problem gamblers have a gambling addiction.

Pathological (Compulsive) Gamblers are unable to resist the urge to gamble. Gambling is not about the money; it is about the act of gambling. A pathological gambler will have experienced several severe negative impacts as a result of gambling.

Phases of Gambling Addiction

Pathological gambling is a progressive illness with a series of phases likely to be experienced by those with a gambling addiction.

During this phase, the pathological gambler is likely to experience more wins than losses and/or a significant “big win.” Because of these frequent wins, the act of gambling brings excitement.

The losing phase can last for 4 to 5 years. Gamblers in this phase start betting larger sums of money, and increase the pace and frequency of their gambling. They may start gambling alone; making gambling an escape rather than a social activity.

The desperation phase may be brief or drag on for several years. During this phase, the gambler has lost the ability to control their gambling behaviors. Gambling is no longer about the entertainment or money. In the desperation phase, a pathological gambler will have experienced several negative impacts as a result of gambling and feel hopeless.

Gambling Definitions

Gambling is defined as betting something of value when the outcome is uncertain. Gambling occurs in many forms, most common are: lotteries, casinos (slot machines and table games), bookmaking (sports books and horse books), card rooms, bingo, horse and dog tracks, and raffles.

Problem Gambling is participation in any form of gambling to the extent that it creates any negative consequence to the gambler, their family, place of employment, or community. This includes patterns of gambling and related behaviors (usually financial issues) that compromise, disrupt, or damage personal, family, educational and/or vocational interests. Problem gambling includes compulsive and pathological gambling as defined below.

Compulsive Gambling is a term used by Gamblers Anonymous to define a member that has a desire to stop gambling. Compulsive gambling is an illness, progressive in nature, which can never be cured, but can be arrested. It consumes the individual's time, energy, and money. Compulsive gambling has the potential to destroy everything that is meaningful in the person's life.

Pathological Gambling is being unable to resist impulses to gamble, which can lead to severe personal or social consequences. Pathological gambling is currently the only behavioral addiction included in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV), and is classified as an Impulse Control Disorder.

Loss Chasing is when a gambler will continue to gamble, after having lost significant amounts of money, in hopes of recouping their losses.

Gambling in the Workplace Toolkit

It is important that workplaces understand that gambling can be problematic. This toolkit provides strategies to help prevent a problem from occurring in the workplace, as well as the proper tools to intervene if an employee discloses a gambling problem.

Download contents of the toolkit below: