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  1. What exactly is "problem gambling"?
  2. How extensive is problem gambling and what are the consequences?
  3. What is problemgambling.com?
  4. How will problemgambling.com help?
  5. Is problemgambling.com anti-gambling or anti-gaming?
  6. What is problemgambling.com's relationship with gaming companies?
  7. Why should a gaming industry company become involved in preventing gambling problems?
  8. What are the advantages of advertising on Problemgambling.com?
  9. What are the advantages of selling products on Problemgambling.com?
  10. Is someone who gambles a lot a compulsive gambler?
  11. Who becomes a compulsive gambler?
  12. Can adolescents become compulsive gamblers as well?
  13. Is there a link between compulsive gambling and chemical dependency?
  14. Is compulsive gambling associated with other mental health problems?
  15. Can compulsive gamblers be helped?
  16. What types of gambling cause the most problem gambling?
  17. So then what causes compulsive gambling?
  18. Is it true that 40 percent of white collar crime is caused by compulsive gambling?
  19. So is there a relationship between compulsive gambling and crime?

 

Q. What exactly is "problem gambling"?

A. "Problem Gambling" is the term used to describe gambling behavior, which causes disruption in any important life function, whether psychological, physical, social or vocational. This term is generally accepted to include, but is not limited to "Pathological", a.k.a., "Compulsive" gambling. Compulsive Gambling is a progressive addiction characterized by increasing preoccupation with gambling, a need to bet more money more frequently, restlessness or irritability when attempting to stop gambling, "chasing" losses, and loss of control by continuing negative gambling behavior, regardless of the disruption and serious consequences of such behavior.

 

 

 

Q. How extensive is problem gambling and what are the consequences?

A. A recent research study was done by the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago, in collaboration with three other research groups, on behalf of the National Gambling Impact Study Commission. The research group reported that:

" Based upon criteria developed by the American Psychiatric Association, we estimate that about 2.5 million adults are pathological gamblers and another 3 million adults should be considered problem gamblers. Extending these criteria more broadly, 15 million (American) adults are at risk for problem gambling, and about 148 million are low-risk gamblers (about 129 million adults have never gambled)."

"……Pathological and problem gamblers are more likely than other gamblers or non-gamblers to have been on welfare, declared bankruptcy, and to have been arrested or incarcerated."

"…….Pathological and problem gamblers in the United States cost society approximately $5 billion per year and an additional $40 billion in lifetime costs for productivity reductions, social services, and creditor losses. However, these calculations are inadequate to capture the intra-familial costs of divorce and family disruption associated with problem and pathological gambling."

 

 

Q. What is Problemgambling.com?

A. The Web site debuted on August 1, 1999 and offers one-stop shopping for products and services related to problem gambling. Visitors can research the subject of problem gambling, search for the right products and services, link to other sites that are doing related work, and buy literature and other materials on line. The web site furthers our mission to raise public awareness and disseminate educational information related to problem gambling. The Web site helps make quality problem gambling information widely available and allow our message to reach people in new and innovative ways.

 

 

Q. How will Problemgambling.com help?

A.Problemgambling.com provides a central information hub where anyone or any organization can seek and find information, assistance, training, consulting, products, services, news, and views on problem gambling. It will help raise awareness of the issues associated with problem gambling, which we believe will ultimately lead to better research, prevention and treatment.

 

 

Q. Is Problemgambling.com anti-gambling or anti-gaming?

A. No. Problemgambling.com is concerned with a segment of those who gamble, who become afflicted with problems themselves, or cause social and economic problems for others, due to gambling abuses or addiction. It is our objective to assist in educating and raising awareness of these issues, and to help abate them through making more resources and information readily available. It is our view that the gaming industry has a high stake in adopting "responsible gaming" policies and the majority of gaming organizations are eager to contribute to solving the issue set we refer to as "Problem Gambling".

 

 

Q. What is Problemgambling.com's relationship with gaming companies?

A. We firmly believe that the only rational strategy to achieve significant progress in prevention and treatment of problem gambling must be based upon synergy and balance among all stakeholders. The participation of the gaming industry, as an equal partner, is crucial to the success of the entire effort. We find that responsible gaming industry organizations do not desire to capitalize on negative behavior nor do they encourage unlawful or underage gambling. Gaming industry leaders realize that the industry as a whole must act in a socially responsible manner, like any other business that desires to be viable in the long run. Problemgambling.com actively promotes interaction of gaming industry representatives and spokespersons with our other stakeholders, such as government organizations, researchers, counselors, treatment centers, and the public-at-large.

 

 

Q. Why should a gaming industry company become involved in preventing gambling problems?

A. Progressive gaming company representatives understand the need to integrate with the other stakeholders in support of a responsible approach toward their serving their customers. Active support of the principles advocated by Problemgambling.com clearly demonstrates a gaming company's concern for the overall welfare of their customers.

 

 

Q. What are the advantages of advertising on Problemgambling.com?

A. Banner Ads, E-links, and Yellow Pages advertising from Problemgambling.com are low-cost means, on a per customer basis, to bring the advertiser new business. Problemgambling.com can help to optimize the results of a company's advertising campaign. Our professionals have the experience to know what advertising works and what doesn't and can find the right advertising solution.

 

 

Q. What are the advantages of selling products on Problemgambling.com?

A. Problemgambling.com expects to be a high traffic site that can be a surrogate sales force for those companies that have high quality products and services to offer in the field. Problemgambling.com advertises and sells a vendor's product(s) and/or service(s), which increases accessibility for customers and sales for vendors.

 

 

Q. Is someone who gambles a lot a compulsive gambler?

A. Not necessarily. Many people who gamble frequently are simply people who enjoy gambling as entertainment. Generally these people set aside a predetermined amount of money for gambling, gamble for fun rather than for the "certainty" of winning, recognize that they are likely to lose, and don't bet more than they can afford to lose. It's also possible to have gambling problems without being a compulsive gambler -- someone can go out and lose a lot of money at a casino after being denied a promotion, for example. Often this sort of problem resolves itself without professional intervention.

 

 

Q. Who becomes a compulsive gambler?

A. Compulsive gamblers can be male, female, young, middle-aged, old, wealthy, poor, white, or people of color. Recently, the National Opinion Research Center of the University of Chicago study completed the first-ever national (U.S.) survey on problem gambling prevalence. The study found that young adults, ethnic minorities, and people with little education were slightly more likely to have serious gambling problems, but the differences were not very large.

 

 

Q. Can adolescents become compulsive gamblers as well?

A. Yes. The National Opinion Research Center study found that 1.5 percent of 16 and 17 year olds could be considered problem or pathological gamblers, or about half the rate for adults. It is not yet known, however, to what extent adolescent gambling predicts problems in an adult.

 

 

Q. Is there a link between compulsive gambling and chemical dependency?

A. Yes. In several studies approximately 50 percent of problem gamblers were found to also have drug or alcohol problems, while studies of people in treatment for substance abuse have found between 10 and 30 percent also having a gambling problem. People may have both addictions simultaneously, or can switch from one addiction to another.

 

 

Q. Is compulsive gambling associated with other mental health problems?

A. It appears that in many cases the answer is yes. Various studies have found high rates of alcoholism, depression, anti-social personality disorder, mood disorders, and other conditions in pathological gamblers, leading some researchers to suspect that problem gambling is often a symptom of an underlying condition.

 

 

Q. Can compulsive gamblers be helped?

A. Yes. Studies have shown that treatment is effective in a great many cases. A wide range of programs exist, ranging from Gamblers Anonymous to inpatient treatment centers. There is no one program that is right for all people. If a treatment program hasn't worked for a particular individual, a different program may well succeed where others failed. Unfortunately, treatment programs are not equally available in all parts of North America. To obtain a recommendation about a particular treatment program, please refer to our 24-hour Help Lines.

 

 

Q. What types of gambling cause the most problem gambling?

A. Most researchers and mental health professionals believe that different types of gambling cannot be said to "cause" problem gambling. Dr. Durand Jacobs, for example, has written: "it appears that the addict's pursuit and over indulgence in alcohol, other drugs, food, gambling, sex, overwork, or whatever, is NOT the addicts "problem". On the contrary, a person's addictive pattern of behavior represents that person's best SOLUTION to the stresses generated by their long-standing underlying problems." Dr. Julian Taber has written: "Blaming alcohol or gambling for an addiction has important negative consequences. ... it allows the patient to focus on treatment and discharge plans that deal with everything except personal change." That being said, problem gamblers are attracted to different forms of gambling for different reasons. Some are attracted to the sensory stimulation of video games of chance, while others to the perception of skill in cards or sports betting. Still others are drawn to the seemingly easy money of high-risk investments. Many, if not most, pathological gamblers indulge in more than one form of gambling, However, studies of pathological gamblers have found that the most frequently cited games of preference are slot machines, card games, and sports betting. A Minnesota study of 944 gamblers in treatment found that 37 percent listed slot machines as their preferred game and 37 percent listed cards. Lottery games, dice games, and games of skill were each cited by less than 1 percent of those in the study. (Stinchfield and Winters, 1996)

 

 

Q. So then what causes compulsive gambling?

A. This is another area in which research is still in its preliminary stages. Different researchers have suggested a number of character traits. Dr. Richard Rosenthal, for example, has cited three components he believes necessary: an intolerable feeling state, such as helplessness, depression, or guilt, a highly developed capacity for self-deception, and exposure to gambling under circumstances in which it is valued. Other researchers have suggested that physical or hereditary predispositions may play a role; these links have not been proven or disproven.

 

 

Q. Is it true that 40 percent of white collar crime is caused by compulsive gambling?

A. This frequently quoted figure is attributed to a study by the "American Insurance Institute." However, there is no such study and no such institute. A recent Gaming Law Review article by Dr. Joseph Kelly discusses the origins and persistence of this particular myth.

 

 

Q. So is there a relationship between compulsive gambling and crime?

A. Undoubtedly yes, though there is little hard information about the extent and nature of the link. Some pathological gamblers turn to crimes such as embezzlement or writing bad checks as their gambling losses mount. One Australian study showed about 36 percent of gamblers in treatment programs had committed crimes that they attributed to their gambling problem (Blaszczynski et al, 1989). However, a recent German study points out that in many cases the criminal behavior preceded the gambling behavior and points out that in at least some cases the factors predisposing one to an addiction may also predispose someone to criminal activity (Meyer, 1997). The link between pathological gambling and substance abuse and between substance abuse and criminal behavior further complicates this relationship.


Articles cited:
Blaszczynski, Alex, Neil McConaghy, and Anna Frankova (1989). Crime, Antisocial Personality and Pathological Gambling. Journal of Gambling Behavior Vol. 5(2), Summer 1989.

Jacobs, Durand F. (1998) An Overarching Theory of Addiction: A New Paradigm for Understanding and Treating Addictive Behaviors. Presented to the National Research Council, September 3, 1998

Kelly, Joseph M. (1997) The American Insurance Institute, Like THAT Bunny, Keeps Going and Going and Going ..., Gaming Law Review: Volume 1, Number 2, pages 209-212.

Meyer, Gerhard (1997). Pathological Gambling and Criminal Behavior. Presented at the 10th International Conference on Gambling and Risk-Taking, Montreal.

National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago (1999). Overview of National Survey and Community Database Research on Gambling Behavior. Presented to the National Gambling Impact Study Commission.

Rosenthal, Richard J. (1993) Some Causes of Pathological Gambling. In Gambling Behavior and Problem Gambling, William R. Eadington and Judy A. Cornelius, eds., pages 143-148. Reno: Institute for the Study of Gambling and Commercial Gaming, University of Nevada, Reno.

Stinchfield, Randy and Ken C. Winters (1996). Treatment Effectiveness of Six State-Supported Compulsive Gambling Treatment Programs in Minnesota. Presented to the Compulsive Gambling Treatment Program, Minnesota Department of Human Services.

Taber, Julian I. (1993) Addictive Behavior: An Informal Clinical View. In Gambling Behavior and Problem Gambling, William R. Eadington and Judy A. Cornelius, eds., pages 273-286. Reno: Institute for the Study of Gambling and Commercial Gaming, University of Nevada, Reno.

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