National Problem Gambling Awareness Month MARCH 2014! Click Here for Information

8th Annual Nevada State Conference on Problem Gambling APRIL 10-11, 2014 Harrah's

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Frequently Asked Questions


Isn't problem gambling just a financial problem?


No. Problem gambling is an emotional problem that has financial consequences. If you pay all of a problem gambler's debts, the person will still be a problem gambler. The real problem is that they have an uncontrollable obsession with gambling.


Do casinos cause problem gambling?


The cause of a gambling problem is the individual's inability to control the gambling. This may be due in part to a person's genetic tendency to develop addiction, their ability to cope with normal life stress and even their social upbringing and moral attitudes about gambling. The casino merely provides the opportunity for the person to gamble. It does not, in and of itself, create the problem any more than a liquor store would create an alcoholic.


Can you be a problem gambler if you don't gamble every day?

The frequency of a person's gambling does not determine whether or not they have a gambling problem.


The frequency of a person's gambling does not determine whether or not they have a gambling problem. Even though the problem gambler may only go on periodic gambling binges, the emotional and financial consequences will still be evident in the gambler's life, including the effects on the family.


How can a person be addicted to something that isn't a substance?


Although no substance is ingested, the problem gambler gets the same effect from gambling as someone else might get from taking a tranquilizer or having a drink. The gambling alters the person's mood and the gambler keeps repeating the behavior attempting to achieve that same effect. But just as tolerance develops to drugs or alcohol, the gambler finds that it takes more and more of the gambling experience to achieve the same emotional effect as before. This creates an increased craving for the activity and the gambler finds they have less and less ability to resist as the craving grows in intensity and frequency.


Are problem gamblers usually addicted to other things too?

It is generally accepted that people with one addiction are more at risk to develop another. Some problem gamblers also find they have a problem with alcohol or drugs. This does not, however, mean that if you have a gambling problem you are guaranteed to become addicted to other things. Some problem gamblers never experience any other addiction because no other substance or activity gives them the same feeling as the gambling does.

Gambling becomes a problem when it causes a negative impact on any area of the individual's life.

How much money do you have to lose before gambling becomes a problem?


The amount of money lost or won does not determine when gambling becomes a problem. Gambling becomes a problem when it causes a negative impact on any area of the individual's life.


What will happen when I call the Problem Gamblers HelpLine?


A counselor will listen to your concerns and answer your questions about problem gambling. The counselor may ask you questions to help determine the most appropriate resources for your situation and then they will give you information on how to access those resources (i.e. Gamblers Anonymous, treatment providers, credit counselors, etc.) Everything you discuss with the counselor is confidential and the call is free!

Problem Gamblers HelpLine

1-800-522-4700