3 Ways Gambling Addiction Can Affect Your Life, Even if You Don’t Gamble

24/7, Confidential, and Multilingual Problem Gambling HelpLine: 888-ADMIT-IT

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3 Ways Gambling Addiction Can Affect Your Life, Even if You Don’t Gamble

While there is no problem with recreational gambling, the moment when a person loses control over their gambling, it is when it becomes clear they have developed a gambling disorder. According to the DSM-5, or the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders published by the American Psychiatric Association, Gambling Disorder is a diagnosable and treatable behavioral addiction with many similarities to Substance Use Disorders. In many ways, gambling disorder affects not only the gambler but the lives of their loved ones.

Relationship problems are very evident in the lives of individuals struggling with gambling disorder. In fact, the top reason reported for making contact with our 888-ADMIT-IT HelpLine during the 2018/2019 fiscal year was relationship problems, as stated by 33% of callers [1]. One way that gambling addiction can affect your life is in your relationships.

In recent events, a teen in the UK spent nearly £3,000 (or about $3,550) on his “addiction” to video game loot boxes. He lost all of the savings set aside for his university tuition without his mother’s permission as a result of gambling addiction, all while his mother was battling cancer [2]. While these situations are difficult to cope with, gambling addiction does not discriminate and any individual can be a victim of this disorder. Another way gambling addiction can affect your life is by distorting your future. 

A large percentage of individuals struggling with problem gambling, commit multiple illegal acts to finance their gambling habit. Our Annual HelpLine 18-19 report showed that 66% of callers committed fraud, which includes bad checks, forgery, and other forms of deception. A large percentage of gamblers reported committing multiple illegal acts to finance their gambling habit, and in many cases, loved ones rarely knew the extent of the gamblers’ behaviors [1]. A third way that gambling addiction can affect your life is through legal consequences. 

For these situations and others, the 888-ADMIT-IT Problem Gambling HelpLine provides those suffering from gambling addiction and their loved ones the proper information and resources to understand and take steps toward recovery from gambling addiction. The first step is reaching for help.

No one suffering from the effects of problem gambling should have to walk alone. We are ready to help you. We bet you can get help for you and your loved ones. The FCCG’s 24-hour confidential and multilingual HelpLine may be reached by calling 888-ADMIT-IT (888-236-4848), texting (321) 978-0555, emailing fccg@gamblinghelp.org, initiating a live chat at gamblinghelp.org, or by reaching out to us on social media platforms, such as Facebook and Twitter.


[1]  24-Hour Problem Gambling HelpLine Annual Report., 2019 ed., The Florida Council on Compulsive Gambling, Inc., 2019, 24-Hour Problem Gambling HelpLine Annual Report

[2] Hannah, Felicity, and Jane Andrews. “Loot Boxes: I Blew My University Savings Gaming on Fifa.” BBC News, BBC, 9 July 2020, www.bbc.com/news/business-53337020.

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