Gambling Addiction

By Evan Natale


Each state determines what kind of gambling it allows within its borders, where the gambling can be located, and who may gamble. The two places that are huge gambling icons are Atlantic City, NJ and Las Vegas, NV. A type of gambling that is illegal in all fifty states is online gambling. Other types of online games are being outlawed, because they involve betting money, such as FanDuel.


Gambling has been around for hundreds of years, and has been categorized into three different waves. The first wave began during the colonial period and lasted until the mid-1800s. The second wave commenced at the close of the Civil War and lasted until the early 20th century. The last wave started during the Great Depression and is still going strong. According to studies, 80% of people in the United States have gambled, and of that 80%, two-thirds have had or have a gambling problem. A gambling addiction is a compulsive action. Stress, depression, loneliness, and anxiety can make a gambling addiction far worse than it already is. The root of a gambling problem can arise from either a positive or a negative situation. Someone could be doing it because they found some extra money in their pocket and they're trying to expand it, and others are doing it because they live a miserable life and feel the need to do it. It can also start at a very young age; more and more teenagers are gambling when it comes to poker games and fantasy football leagues with friends. When people become addicted to gambling they push everyone who loves them out of their lives, because gambling becomes the only thing that is important. Bankruptcy and family division are two major consequences of the activity.
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There are tons of rehab and recovery centers that have specialists that deal with gambling. Most systems treat it similarly to substance abuse recovery, and advise people with gambling problems to get a sponsor as they go through the program. There are also hot lines that are open twenty four hours a day. Some signs of a gambling addiction or withdrawal are: being secretive about gambling, having trouble controlling your gambling, gambling even when you can't afford to, and family concerns.


I chose to do my addiction project on gambling, because it is different that anything else I have covered in school. Drug and alcohol abuse seem to be the most common choices, so I picked one that would be fun to learn about and that was new.

FUN FACT: Atlantic City was the inspiration for the original version of the game Monopoly.