The increase of casinos increase the amount of gambling addictions. These gambling addictions have negative affects on both the gambler and their families.
I had a client named Joel who did not have a gambling addiction until a Casino opened up several blocks away from his home. Due to the close proximity of the Casino, Joel started to gamble and play more frequently which in turn caused him to lose larger amounts of money. Joel stated “I feel ashamed. I withdrew money from my kid’s savings and even forged my own wife’s signature on a mortgage agreement. I was so depressed I felt like committing suicide. But now I am okay.”
The Rise of Gambling
Joel is one of the many people who have a gambling addiction. You might wonder why gambling has been steadily growing. A fraction of the reason is due to the economy. States bring in casinos to make up for their economies. Gambling gives rise to jobs and it also creates gambling addicts. Casinos may be beneficial to the economy but it is not beneficial to society. Places such as Las Vegas depend on gambling as their main source of revenue but studies have shown that there are higher chances of addicts, aggression and crimes such as burglary. Studies have shown that if states used the money spent on gambling on other things such as college education it would also benefit the economy.
Gambling and Affects on Relationships
Gambling creates damaged relationships in addition to financial debt. A client Tim, stated “My brother and I created a small business together and it was doing extremely well for several years until I let my gambling addiction take over and took the money from our company. My gambling addiction became even worse once I discovered online gambling which forced me to withdraw close to a million dollars from the business.” His brother has also not spoken to him since the incident. Tim expressed his desire to reconnect with his brother but his brother would not accept his apology. Tim’s gambling addiction damaged his relationship with his brother and also caused a promising business to collapse.
There are many others like Tim and Joel. In fact, people from all different ethnicities, ages and genders are affected by gambling addiction. However, people who have recently experienced an important life changing event such as divorce, loss of a loved one, or even unemployment are especially more likely to become addicted. Others with history of sexual abuse, neglect, addiction or mental illness are also at a higher risk of becoming addicted.
What are ways to help?
With the rise of gambling addiction, what are ways to help those affected by this problem? One way is to acquire more help for people who are addicted. There are only a very few number of states that offer councils on gambling addiction and even fewer offer treatment. Avoiding denial is also another way to help those affected. Many gamblers are unaware that they have a gambling problem or they refuse to tell loved ones out of shame or need to win more money. Some lie to themselves or they convince themselves that they are actually able to gamble responsibly when they are not able to do so. Gambling addiction is different from drug addictions due to the fact that you are unable to see or smell it on a person. While these two ways can help with gambling addictions, the government could assist in protecting society from gambling addiction. However, many are opposed to the government taking action against gambling.