What is problem gambling?

Problem gambling includes all gambling behavior patterns that compromise, disrupt or damage personal, family or vocational pursuits. The essential features are increasing preoccupation with gambling, a need to bet more money more frequently, restlessness or irritability when attempting to stop, “chasing” losses, and loss of control manifested by continuation of the gambling behavior in spite of mounting, serious, negative consequences. In extreme cases, problem gambling can result in financial ruin, legal problems, loss of career and family, or even suicide.

How does someone develop a gambling problem?

Anyone who gambles can develop problems if they are not aware of the risks and don’t manage their time and budgets. Problem or pathological gamblers develop an obsession with gambling. The obsession could be precipitated by personal or job related stress.

Where can I get help?

How big is the problem?

Based on current Oregon problem and pathological prevalence rates, approximately 2.7% of adult Oregonians could be affected by problem gambling, over 100,000 people.

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.

What kind of people have a problem with their gambling?

Anyone who gambles can develop problems if they are not aware of the risks and do not gamble responsibly. When gambling behavior interferes with finances, relationships and the workplace, a serious problem already exists.