Globally, more than $10 trillion is wagered annually on various types of gambling, although some experts speculate that illegal gambling totals even more. Lotteries are the most popular form of gambling, with state-run and licensed lottery systems expanding rapidly in the United States and Europe during the late 20th century. Football pools are organized in almost every European country, some South American nations, and Australia. Most countries offer state-licensed wagering on other sporting events as well.
Problem gambling is an addictive disorder
The consequences of problem gambling are serious and often include financial devastation, legal trouble, and the loss of family and career opportunities. Additionally, it can lead to suicide. According to the American Psychiatric Association, gambling addiction reaches the level of Clinical Criteria if you experience any of these symptoms: irrational behavior, dependence on gambling, or excessive risk taking. Regardless of the type of gambling you enjoy, help is available.
It is a social activity
People engage in gambling for a variety of reasons, including to win money, to be with friends, and to relax. While the benefits of social interaction and competition are important to gamblers, other factors can also contribute to their enjoyment of gambling. Social factors are especially important in promoting gambling, because it gives individuals the opportunity to interact with others and enjoy the suspense and tension of the game. However, gambling may not always be as beneficial for the gambler as it appears to be.
It is a risky game
The risky game was invented by Albert Lamorisse in 1957. The game has become the most popular board game in history, and has inspired other classics like Axis and Allies and Settlers of Catan. The simple rules and complex interactions of the game make it a favorite among children, parents, and even adults. Hasbro still produces this game and has created many editions and variants, including video games.
It is a hidden addiction
Problem gambling is often described as a “hidden addiction,” because it has no visible symptoms. It is estimated that four to six million people in the United States are problem gamblers, with a high percentage of these people aged under 25. Even those in their prime may be at risk for gambling addiction, with ten to fifteen percent of youth reporting an addiction. Thankfully, there are several prevention and treatment options available to help combat the effects of this condition.
It can be treated
The good news is that gambling can be treated. While the condition can be extremely addictive, treatment options vary widely. Often, a combination of pharmaceutical and therapeutic techniques is effective. Depending on the severity of the problem, you may be able to quit gambling entirely with the help of a professional. Those who can no longer avoid gambling venues may benefit from an inpatient treatment program, which can last anywhere from 30 days to a year.