Celebrate Problem Gambling

Posted on: March 9, 2011

Celebrate Problem Gambling Awareness Week that is. According to the Nevada Council on Problem Gambling website, studies indicate that as many as 6% of Nevada adults may be problem gamblers. So, let’s celebrate PG Awareness Week by taking a self-test on whether or not you are a problem gambler (source: Gamblers Anonymous). Answer yes or no to the following questions (my answers will be in parenthesis):

  1. Did you ever lose time from work or school due to gambling? (no)
  2. Has gambling ever made your home life unhappy? (no)
  3. Did gambling affect your reputation? (no)
  4. Have you ever felt remorse after gambling? (yes)
  5. Did you ever gamble to get money with which to pay debts or otherwise solve financial difficulties? (no)
  6. Did gambling cause a decrease in your ambition or efficiency? (no)
  7. After losing, did you feel you must return as soon as possible and win back your losses? (no)
  8. After a win, did you have a strong urge to return and win more? (no)
  9. Did you often gamble until your last dollar was gone? (no)
  10. Did you ever borrow to finance your gambling? (no)
  11. Have you ever sold anything to finance gambling? (no)
  12. Were you reluctant to use “gambling money” for normal expenditures? (no)
  13. Did gambling make you careless of the welfare of yourself or your family? (no)
  14. Did you ever gamble longer than you planned? (no)
  15. Have you ever gambled to escape worry or trouble? (no)
  16. Have you ever committed, or considered committing, an illegal act to finance gambling? (no)
  17. Did gambling cause you to have difficulty sleeping? (no)
  18. Do arguments, disappointments, or frustrations create in you an urge to gamble? (no)
  19. Did you ever have the urge to celebrate any good fortune by a few hours of gambling? (yes)
  20. Have you ever considered self-destruction or suicide as a result of your gambling? (no)

3-reel slot

Sex and the City Video Reel Machine

Ok, so compulsive gamblers usually answer “yes” to 7 or more questions. Phew, I only answered 2 “yes.” But I do know several people who would probably quailfy. Gambling addiction is probably one of the most controversial “addictions” that exists. Only just recently have there been studies that actually show a chemical reaction in a person’s brain when they are gambling that is similar to the chemical reaction when someone does a chemical drug such as cocaine. It has become even more prevalent since the technology of slot machines has become more advanced. Video reel machines are now portraying cartoon characters and popular TV shows as part of the game which draws people in. They also are able to spin at a much more rapid pace than they ever could on a traditional reel machine (think machines with 3 “reels”, most of the time with some version of 777s paying the jackpot).

I personally am still on the fence. The research that has been coming out has been much more convincing than it has ever been, but I still have trouble discounting my initial belief that problem gambling is nothing more than a weakness or lack of willpower. What do you think?


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This blog is devoted to the gaming industry news and information - keeping you up to date on the happenings in the gaming world. My personal expertise lies in event planning and entertainment in casinos.

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