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Independent expert answers
on psychiatry and psychology

When does Gambling Become Gambling Addiction?

Abstract: Gambling becomes an addiction when you cannot have a budget and stick to it.

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When does Gambling Become Gambling Addiction?

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Question(s): 
Written by: Wendy Moelker, Psychologist in charge, tutor, Emergis center for mental health care, Goes, the Netherlands.
First version: 22 Jul 2008.
Latest revision: 22 Jul 2008.

When does gambling become gambling addiction?

Answer:

Most people who gamble are prepared to spend a considerable amount of money, but they know how big their budget is. They stop when they have lost a certain amount. There are, however, people who don't keep the limits in mind. They spend more money on gambling than they can afford. This causes big problems in the long run. This often happens gradually; fights in the family, fights at work, lying, etc. Eventually, the gamblers are dominated by gambling and obtaining money to be able to gamble. Gambling is a problem when you:

  • Spend too much time on gambling.
  • Lose too much money on gambling.
  • Cannot satisfy obligations at work, school or at home anymore (neglect of children, doing bad work, be absent a lot, etc).
  • Influence your life and that of others negatively.
  • Feel bad about it.
  • Gambling becomes a way of forgetting your problems.

In the Netherlands, there are many people who get problems because they spend too much money on gambling. People with an addiction problem of gambling are often also dependent on other substances.

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