The Path of Problem Gambling Posted On

Harm caused by gambling can impact anyone at any time in their life. Are you familiar with how problem gambling can affect an individual, their family members, friends, coworkers and community? Understanding how gambling can become a problem can help prevent gambling addiction from affecting people you know.  

What is gambling?  

Gambling is defined as risking something of value on a game of chance. There are many opportunities to gamble in New York state, including lottery, sports betting, cards and dice for money, raffles, horse racing and more. While there are many legal opportunities for people to gamble, there are illegal opportunities to gamble as well.  

Why do people gamble?  

People can gamble for many reasons. It may be for entertainment. It may be something that they do with friends or may be something to pass the time. People may gamble because of boredom, loneliness, or grief. Whatever the reason is, for some gambling may start out as entertainment, relief from boredom, stress or loneliness but for some it becomes problematic.  

How can gambling become a problem? 

Gambling becomes a problem any time it causes issues in someone’s life. For most people who are experiencing gambling problems, it’s not about the money. It’s more about the excitement or the escape. If gambling starts to affect any aspect of your life, it doesn’t need to be financial.  

What are the warning signs?  

Gambling to escape boredom. 

Many people experiencing gambling harm fill time with gambling activities instead of pursuing other hobbies, jobs or relationships. 

Gambling to avoid stress and problems. 

Many people avoid dealing with potentially negative situations by doing repetitive activities such as online card games and slot machines. 

Gambling has caused change in your personality and your goals. 

Gambling problems occur when gambling starts to affect any aspect of your life. It doesn’t have to be financial – is gambling all you can think about? Are you skipping work to gamble or gambling while at work?  

Others see signs of a gambling problem affecting you.  

People in your life notice a change in your behavior, personality, not being present during activities you used to enjoy, the way you spend your time, or see that you are distracted by your previous or upcoming bets.  

Consequences of Problem Gambling.  

Gambling can cause harm in many aspects of your life. It can cause damaged relationships with loved ones, problems at work, and loss of personal property. In addition, it can affect your mental health and your physical health.  

Gambling can affect your life in many ways, but there is help available.  

Where to get help.  

If you or someone you love is having difficulty with their gambling know that there are many resources and options available for support. There are one-on-one therapy options, self-help groups, and in-patient and out-patient programs available to you. To learn more about where you can get help, visit For 24/7 support contact the NYS OASAS HOPELINE at 877-8-HOPENY.  

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