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Welcome to the Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual Disabilities Services

Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disAbility Services


Problem & Disordered Gambling Initiative

If you or someone you know has a problem with gambling, please call the hotline at 1-800-GAMBLER

Symptoms of Problem and Disordered Gambling
  • Increase in the frequency and the amount of money gambled
  • The person gambles for longer periods of time with more money than originally planned
  • A large amount of time is spent gambling or obtaining money with which to gamble
  • The person gambles at the expense of personal or family time
  • The person will begin to borrow money to gamble, possibly taking out secret loans or maximizing credit cards
  • The person will begin “chasing” or have the urgent need to keep gambling, often with larger bets or taking of greater risks in order to make up for a loss or series of losses
  • The person spends the majority of their free time thinking about gambling
  • The person feels a sense of euphoria, arousal, or a high from gambling
  • The person uses gambling as a way to cope with unpleasant feelings
  • The person has frequent mood swings: higher moods when winning; lower moods when losing
  • The person brags about wins but omits their losses
  • The person continues to gamble despite negative consequences such as large losses, work or family problems caused by gambling
  • The person lies or has secretive behavior to cover up extent of their gambling
Gambling Facts
  • According to the National Council on Problem Gambling an estimated four percent of adults (8 million) in the United States either meet the criteria for disordered gambling, or would be considered problem gamblers.
  • The vast majority of gambling-related crimes are non-violent; embezzlement, check forgery, stealing credit cards, fencing stolen goods, tax evasion, insurance fraud, employee theft and fraud are common gambling-related crimes.
  • A major depressive disorder is likely to occur in 76 percent of problem gamblers (Unwin Davis & Leeuw, 2000).
  • Problem gamblers who present for care have the highest suicide rate among addictions. Two of every ten gamblers (20%) attempt.
  • Violent crimes are 10 percent higher where legalized gambling exists.
  • During the first 15 years that Atlantic City had casinos, violent crime rose by almost 200 percent, and larceny increased 481percent.
  • Gambling addicts tend to progress from losing all their own money, then losing all they can get from their family, and friends, and finally to taking or stealing money from strangers.
  • Data gathered in Philadelphia in 2013 indicated a 50% prevalence of problem gamblers amongst the homeless population.
Last modified: Jul 16, 2024 @ 9:45 am