Sports betting can be a fun and profitable venture. However, like most good things in
life there are pitfalls to be aware of. You should be able to enjoy many positive
experiences as long as you bet in moderation and under control.
We know you have heard this before but it definitely bears repeating: don’t bet money you
can’t afford to lose, either emotionally or financially.
Please be aware of the following:
The American Psychiatric Association classifies compulsive gambling, also called
pathologic gambling, as an impulse-control disorder. It says the disorder has strong
parallels to substance dependence. To meet the American Psychiatric Association's
diagnostic criteria for compulsive gambling, one must show persistent gambling
behavior as indicated by at least five of the following:
1.Being preoccupied with gambling (e.g., preoccupied with reliving past gambling
experiences, handicapping or planning the next venture, or thinking of ways to
get money with which to gamble).
2.Needing to gamble with increasing amounts of money to achieve desired
3.Having repeated unsuccessful efforts to cut back or stop gambling.
4.Being restless or irritable when attempting to cut down or stop gambling.
5.Gambling as a way of escaping problems or of relieving dysphoric mood (e.g.,
feelings of helplessness, guilt, anxiety, depression).
6.After losing money gambling, often returning another day to get even ("chasing"
7.Lying to family members, therapist or others to conceal extent of involvement
8.Having committed illegal acts such as forgery, fraud, theft, or embezzlement to
9.Having jeopardized or lost a significant relationship, job, or educational or career
opportunity because of gambling.
10.Relying on others to provide money to relieve a desperate financial situation
caused by gambling.
These criteria - published in the American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and
Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th Edition, 1994 - also say that to meet the
definition of compulsive gambling, the gambling behavior must not be related to an
underlying manic disorder.
If you or someone you know shows many of the above characteristics please take the
necessary steps to find help. Here are a few places to start looking: