Problem Gambling is on the rise in Maryland
20% OF ALL BANKRUPTCIES ARE LINKED TO PROBLEM GAMBLING.
Upwards of 90 percent of those with a gambling problem use their credit cards to gamble. An estimated 23 million Americans go into debt because of gambling.*
Suicidal thoughts and suicide attempts are common for those with gambling problems. For two reasons, gambling may lead to suicidal behavior: large debts and shame. Accumulating large debt and the shame of problem gambling may function as barriers to help-seeking. Out-of-control gambling may lead to other conditions that may lead to suicide.** Problem gambling is a repetitive behavior that negatively affects personal and family life, school or work success, financial well-being, and physical and mental health, all factors that are linked to suicide.***
1 IN 6 PEOPLE ADDICTED TO GAMBLING ATTEMPT SUICIDE.
1 IN 10 COLLEGE STUDENTS HAVE A GAMBLING ADDICTION.
Approximately 75 percent of college students gambled during the past year (whether legally or illegally) with about 18 percent gambling weekly or more frequently.****
- Lotteries, card games, pools (including raffles, charitable small stakes gambling), sports betting and games of skill (e.g., bowling, basketball, pool, golf, backgammon, darts) are the most frequently chosen gambling activities by college students.
- Both student athletes and students who are sports fans gamble more than other students.
- The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) has identified gambling by athletes as a major threat to the integrity of intercollegiate athletics and responded with the development of a comprehensive education program for student athletes at NCAA member schools.
- Casino nights, poker tournaments and other gambling activities are popular at special events sponsored by campus organizations and fraternities and sororities.
- Despite the prevalence of on-campus gambling, only 22 percent of U.S. colleges and universities have formal policies on gambling.
A study by the National Gambling Impact Study Commission found that the lifetime divorce rate for problem gamblers was 39.5%, compared to 18.2% for the general population.
- Arguments and conflict – When someone loses money in gambling, then financial problems arise. Thus, it leads to arguments and conflict. Financial stress can cause people to feel irritable, anxious, and overwhelmed.
- Communication problems – Problem gambling can also make it difficult for couples to communicate effectively. Financial stress leads to shame, guilt, and resentment. It may be likely that couples will avoid discussing their finances altogether.
- Dishonesty and Betrayal – Gamblers often lie to their spouses. They may also steal money from their spouses or other family members.
- Emotional Neglect and Abuse – One partner may fail to meet the emotional needs of the other partner. They withdraw from the relationship emotionally, not being supportive or understanding, and not spending time with them. The breakdown of a relationship can be too much for couples to overcome.
PROBLEM GAMBLERS ARE MORE THAN TWICE AS LIKELY TO GET DIVORCED.
No Cost Help is Available
Counseling for gambling problems at no cost to Maryland residents is now available for anyone seeking help regardless of insurance coverage, financial status, or ability to pay.
- Spending more money than intended on gambling.
- Gambling for longer periods of time than intended.
- Getting into serious financial trouble because of gambling.
- Lying to cover up gambling losses.
- Using gambling to escape personal problems and distressing feelings.
- Thinking about gambling all the time.
- Being unable to set limits.
- Gambling in spite of losing more than can be afforded.
- Problems paying bills because of gambling losses.
- Not paying bills to cover gambling losses.
- Gambling to cover losses.
- Destroying families and relationships because of gambling.
- Borrowing or stealing money from family, friends, or employers to keep on gambling.
- Experiencing poor job performance or losing a job because of gambling.