Q: Isn’t problem gambling really the result of irresponsible or weak-willed people?
A: No. Many people who develop problems have been viewed as responsible and strong by those who care about them. Precipitating factors often lead to a change in behavior, such as retirement or job-related stress.
Q: What kind of people become problem gamblers?
A: Anyone who gambles can develop problems if they are not aware of the risks and do not gamble responsibly. When gambling behavior interferes with finances, relationships and the workplace, a serious problem already exists.
Q: Do casinos, lotteries and other types of gambling cause problem gambling?
A: The cause of a gambling problem is the individual’s inability to control the gambling. This may be due in part to a person’s general tendency to develop addiction, his or her ability to cope with normal life stress and even social upbringing and moral attitudes about gambling. The casino or lottery provides the opportunity for the person to gamble. It does not, in and of itself, create the problem any more than a liquor store would create an alcoholic.
Q: How much money do you have to lose before gambling becomes a problem?
A: The amount of money lost or won does not determine when gambling becomes a problem. Gambling becomes a problem when it causes a negative impact on any area of the individual’s life.
Q: Isn’t problem gambling just a financial problem?
A: No. Problem gambling is an emotional problem that has financial consequences. If you pay all of a gambler’s debts, the person will still be a problem gambler. The real problem is that he or she may have an uncontrollable obsession with gambling.
If any of these sound like someone you know, that
person may have a problem with gambling. Call the Kentucky Helpline, 1-800-GAMBLER (1-800-426-2537).
It’s free and confidential and available 24 hours a day,
seven days a week.