Gambling Addiction – Pathological Gambling

Gambling addiction is often participation in games of chance that dominates the life of an individual and leads to a decrease in social, professional, material and family values.

Symptoms of Gambling Addiction:

  • constant interest and loss of sense of time during the game
  • changing the circle of interests
  • constant thoughts about the game, fantasizing about gambling
  • loss of control
  • pronounced inability to stop gambling both after a large gain and after a series of losses
  • states of psychological discomfort, irritability, nervousness, restlessness in relatively short periods after another participation in the game and an irresistible desire to gamble again.

Such conditions of gambling addiction  are reminiscent of drug abstinence in some symptoms: headache, sleep disturbance, restlessness, bad mood, impaired concentration.

  • characteristically gradual increase in the frequency of gambling and the urge for increasing risks
  • periodic tension accompanied by excitement related to the game, an irresistible desire to gamble again
  • rapid decline in the ability to resist temptation.

The individual decides to stop gambling once and for all, and at the slightest provocation (meeting with friends, talking about gambling, proximity to the casino), gambling is repeated.

gambling addiction

Gambling Addiction in the UK

A recent survey says  that UK gambling addiction is much worse than thought.

Gambling addiction rates may be much higher than generally thought. According to this research, nearly half of people with a pathological gambling problem are not getting any help.

In a survey authorized by the GambleAware charity, YouGov estimated that up to 2.7% of adults in Great Britain were problem gamblers. That’s nearly 1.4 million people with issues with gambling addiction. Experts say that true addiction rate is likely to be higher.
YouGov questioned 16,000 people for the survey.

The report also found that as many as 7% of adults, or 3.6 million people, report having been negatively affected by someone else’s gambling problem.

Overall, the research suggests that nearly 5 million British people have experienced harm linked to gambling, both family members and the gamblers.

However, both the YouGov survey and the health survey figures were likely to contain flaws, with the true rate of problem gambling likely to be closer to the commonly used 0.7% figure than YouGov’s 2.7% estimate.