Societal Impact of Problem Gambling

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Pathological Gambling is one of the most devastating and fastest proliferating diseases in the United States, and it is estimated that close approximately one million (1,000,000) people in California are Pathological or Problem Gamblers with an additional three million (3,000,000) “at risk” of becoming addicted.

The social costs of Problem Gambling are staggering: according to the National Council on Problem Gambling, the costs are about $7 billion (with a “b”) per year in the US, from crime/incarcerations, bankruptcies and other addictions. Problem and Pathological Gamblers are between 3 and 4 times more likely to be arrested and/or spend time in jail as a result of crimes including (but not limited to) domestic violence, child abuse/neglect, theft, fraud. Problem and Pathological gamblers are also 2 to 7 times more likely to use illegal drugs, drink/binge drink alcohol and smoke cigarettes.1

Gambling addiction can have negative consequences to almost all aspects of our society. Even if you are not a problem gambler, there is a chance that your life has been affected by someone else’s gambling addiction.

In this section, we will examine the impacts of gambling on our families, children, jobs, community and crime and suicide rates.1

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