While gambling is a form of entertainment for most people, for many people it can cause serious problems including significant loss of money and unending debt, stress and depression, family strife, and even loss of jobs or educational opportunities.
Most people are unaware that problem gambling is more than a bad habit; it is a medical condition. It is a condition that should be treated, not hidden or ignored.
For some people, the desire to gamble becomes so strong it overtakes personal values and results in spending money needed for necessities of daily life. This can result in borrowing money that cannot be repaid, bringing shame to a family.
If you, a family member or a friend has a gambling problem, call 1-800-GAMBLER to speak with a trained counselor who can provide you with resources for seeking help.
Research shows that Asian Americans are more likely to have gambling problems than the general American population. Cultural factors supporting the belief in luck, fate or fortune encourage gambling. A strong sense of family privacy discourages seeking help when gambling becomes a problem.
While gambling is socially acceptable, losing control and having a problem may result in cultural shame, embarrassment and loss of respect in the community. It is important to understand that a gambling problem is not a moral issue but a significant mental health problem.
How to Recognize a Gambling Problem
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©2016 — Asian Gambling SOS - from The Maryland Center of Excellence on Problem Gambling. Funded by DHMH/BHA.