Gambling Addiction or Problem Gambling is known as the “hidden addiction” because there are no visible signs. Unlike alcohol or drug addiction, you can’t visibly see the effects of someone’s gambling. For example, if someone has been drinking, you may smell alcohol, or they may be slurring their speech. Because of the lack of visibility, often those suffering from a gambling addiction can hide it longer than someone with an alcohol or drug problem. Usually, gambling addiction is discovered when there is a loss of accessibility to money and/or negative actions occur.
There are many types of gambling opportunities. In New York State, you must be 18 to gamble, including buying lottery tickets or buying/selling raffle tickets. If a casino sells alcohol, you must be 21 to enter the casino floor.
Most adults who gamble do it for as a recreational, fun activity without any negative consequences. For some, it can become a problem just like alcohol or drugs.
Some warning signs that gambling might be a problem include:
Talking to youth about the risks and consequences of engaging in underage gambling activities can make a difference in the choices they make. Parents and caregivers, educators and community members can take steps to prevent youth gambling behaviors.
Most adults can gamble responsibly. Having a plan before you gamble can help reduce the potential consequences. Consider some of these tips:
Contact your local Problem Gambling Resource Center to receive support, information and/or be connected with a problem gambling provider in your community.
Call the free, confidential NYS HOPELINE - 1-877-8-HOPENY or text HOPENY (467369) for help, and referrals to treatment.