The Problem of Men and Compulsive Gambling

When Does it Become a Problem?

Blackjack table
Alina Solovyova-Vincent / Getty Images

There are a number of reasons why men gamble. Money is one, the emotional states gambling can engender is another. Some men gamble for the high-- the crack-- the action. For others gambling covers over problems of depression, panic attacks, mania, drug, and alcohol abuse.

Most gamblers are men. In 2005 The National Council on Problem Gambling estimated that, of the approximately 2.9 million young people between the ages of 14 and 22 gambling on cards on a weekly basis, 80% are male.

The National Council on Problem Gambling estimates 1% of American adults (nearly 3 million people) are pathological gamblers. Another 2%–3% have less serious but still significant problems. They fear that overall as many as 15 million people are at risk from gambling.

Signs and Symptoms of Problem Gambling

There are a number of signs & symptoms that could indicate a problem with gambling:

  • You secretly gamble.
  • Your gambling makes you take time away from work and family commitments.
  • You try quitting gambling but then start again and again losing money that is needed to pay bills.
  • You lie, steal, borrow or sell things to get gambling money
  • You gamble to win back your losses. You dream of the "big win" and that keeps you in a spiral of debt.
  • You gamble when you feel down or when you feel like celebrating.
  • Relationships are breaking down because of your gambling.

Getting Help for Gambling

There is a lot of help available.

The links below point you to self-help, group support agencies, and specialist facilities/gambling counselors in your area.

Where to get help:

National Council on Problem Gambling
Confidential National Helpline
800-522-4700 (toll free)

Continue Reading