Gambling Addiction Statistics

Gambling Addiction Statistics

When you gamble, it starts as a simple way to pass the time, but it quickly becomes an unhealthy habit with significant repercussions. Gambling can strain your relationships, interfere with your work, and lead to a financial disaster. You might even resort to actions you never imagined taking, such as running up enormous debts or stealing money for gambling.

However, it does not mean that you are a bad or lost person just because you gamble a lot. Statistics show that 26% of the world’s population gambles, meaning that around 1.6 billion people gamble at least once a year. Furthermore, around 1% of the adult population in the U.S. has a gambling problem.

Unfortunately, many people struggling with gambling addiction find it difficult to get help, mainly because they don’t even understand they have a problem or don’t see the point. Understanding the statistics about gambling can help you convince your loved ones that they are not alone and that compulsive gambling is a disease that needs treatment.

Prevalence of Gambling in the U.S.

While gambling is fun when you start, the gambling addiction statistics in 2022 are increasingly worrying. It is estimated that around 750,000 American young adults aged between 14 and 21 are addicted to gambling. These statistics are troubling, but they should not come as a surprise, given that more than 124 million American adults gamble occasionally.

Gambling statistics show that an average compulsive gambler spends around $1,200 per year, and about 30% of the gambling addicts have huge debts of between $55,000 and $90,000. Please keep in mind that these statistics are not meant to detract you from gambling but rather to make you remember that while it is fun, you should do it in moderation.

College students are among those who are most susceptible to gambling. The combination of leisure time and the readily accessible student loan could be cited as the primary reason for the increase in gambling among college students. Approximately 75% of college students gambled over the past year, and 6% of young adults have a gambling problem, a greater incidence than adults.

Some state lotteries allow 18-year-olds to participate, and some casinos have an 18-and-over policy for poker, but the rise of online gambling is the actual problem. Only a credit card is required to enter the world of online gaming. Before you realize it, you find yourself buried in credit card debt in the name of gambling.

The Relationship Between Compulsive Gambling and Domestic Violence

Statistics show that when a person’s intimate partner is a gambling addict, the likelihood of violence increases by 10.5 times. According to another study by the University of Nebraska, compulsive gambling posed the same risk for domestic violence as alcoholism.

Without a doubt, problem gambling harms families. Addiction to gambling causes disorder, financial and legal issues, and imbalances in household responsibilities and the care of children or other family members.

The same researchers that investigated emergency department admissions concluded that perpetrators of domestic violence and addicts exhibit several similar behaviors. These include the unwillingness to regulate impulses despite adverse consequences, preoccupation or obsession, and defensive responses like denial, reduction, and rationalization.

Domestic violence may lead to gambling addiction only in the abuser’s partner. One study uncovered evidence that gambling frequently functions as a coping mechanism, particularly for women attempting to flee from unpleasant relationships. This is one of several studies that support the notion that males gamble for fun and to win, but women gamble to flee. Gambling places such as casinos, riverboats, and bingo halls emerge as a refuge from violence.

Even though they are frequently connected, addiction to gambling and domestic violence requires separate but coordinated therapy. Domestic violence can result in a person’s involvement with the criminal court system, which now provides intervention and treatment for batterers. Gambling addiction necessitates treatment for the individual and their loved ones, as well as instruction about how to alter and control the dynamic of their relationship and develop healthy relationships in the future.

How Do You Know You Are Addicted to Gambling?

Many people addicted to gambling don’t even know they are addicted or don’t want to accept that they are. You can crosscheck the following signs and symptoms to confirm if you are addicted to gambling or not:

• Becoming preoccupied with gambling and constantly planning gambling activities and how to make more money so you can gamble
• Wanting to gamble with higher amounts of money to increase your winnings
• Trying to resist gambling with no success
• Feeling guilt, shame, and helplessness after spending a lot of money gambling
• Trying to get more money from gambling by placing higher stakes, only to lose even more money
• Risking your job, relationships, and family because of gambling
• Asking for help to bail you out from your financial problems because you gambled all your money away
• Compulsively lying about your gambling problems to your partner and family

Most occasional gamblers stop when they keep on losing or set a limit on the amount of money they are willing to lose. However, people struggling with gambling addiction are compelled to keep playing even when they lose a significant amount of money. This pattern gets destructive over time, which is why getting help before things get out of hand is crucial.

Why It Is Important to Get Help With Gambling Addiction

Treating gambling addiction is essential. Here are a few reasons you should consider treating your gambling addiction.

Getting Treatment Helps Improve Family Relationships

While the addicted person will undoubtedly suffer due to their gambling addiction, their family will also experience difficulties. Irritable behavior, secrecy, and conflicts are possible outcomes of a problem gambler’s stress. Financial pressures affect everyone in the family, and strained connections make it more difficult for extended family members, acquaintances, and coworkers to cope. When you get treatment, you will find it easy to interact with others, something we all want since humans are social beings.

You Get to Save Money and Have Fun in Other Ways

One of the most significant drawbacks of online gambling, or any gambling, is that gamblers cannot win all of their games without losing some. Money loss might become a significant problem. Gambling addiction can result in substantial financial losses, mainly because those addicted will take extraordinary measures to obtain money to continue gambling. They frequently take out enormous debts they cannot repay, which may lead to criminal activity in some situations. Instead of using (and likely losing) all that money gambling, you can save some and use it to improve yourself.

You Get Control of Your Life Back

Multiple aspects of the brain are impacted by addiction. Once addiction sets in, it can cause individuals to lose control of their impulses or develop a craving for whatever they are addicted to. The brain seeks the substance’s reward when a person develops an addiction. This is due to the brain’s reward system being intensely stimulated. As a result, many users continue to consume the chemical, resulting in various euphoric experiences and odd behavior. Long-term addiction can have grave consequences, including brain damage and even death. Once you get treatment for the addiction, you will gain control of your life back and make progress in life.

You Get to Prevent Harmful Effects of Addiction Such as Depression

Addiction can make people go to dangerous lengths, such as stealing money or selling household items to answer the addiction calls. However, those who can’t go to extreme lengths to fulfill their addiction desires are likely to go into depression. You don’t want to be in depression. Cure your addiction today and avoid addictions

Types of Treatments for Gambling Addiction

Gambling addiction can be treated in various ways. Some of the most common ones include:

Inpatient Rehabilitation Program

Some people need the structure of an inpatient program to overcome gambling addiction. This program may assist if you can’t avoid casinos or other gambling places on your own. You should consider staying in a treatment facility for 30 days or longer, depending on your level of addiction.

Outpatient Rehabilitation Program

Individuals with gambling addictions utilize outpatient treatment programs more frequently. In this program, sessions will be held at a facility. You may also participate in group and individual treatment. You will continue to reside at home while engaging in your daily activities.

12-Step Programs

You can seek treatment from a 12-step program such as Gamblers Anonymous (GA). These programs may be especially beneficial if you cannot pay for more expensive forms of treatment. This group is similar to Alcoholics Anonymous in that it helps you develop a support network of other people who have overcome their addictions to gambling. You and your group members can meet as often as you choose.

Psychotherapy or Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

You may also benefit from one-on-one treatment. Gambling addiction may be a symptom of underlying emotional or psychological disorders. Gambling addiction is one of several self-destructive behaviors you must address. Counseling provides a safe space for you to talk about these issues.


In certain instances, you may require medicine to overcome your gambling tendencies. Your gambling addiction could result from a mental health problem, for example, bipolar disorder. You must learn to handle the underlying issue to acquire better impulse control.

Does Compulsive Gambling Treatment Work?

Yes, treatments for compulsive gambling are successful. Sadly, it is estimated that more than 80% of individuals who suffer from compulsive gambling never seek treatment, regardless of how severe their issue may be. People with this kind of disorder have an increased risk of suffering from various other mental health conditions as well as problems with substance abuse. Many gamblers also struggle with alcoholism or addiction to the substance, and many are also dependent on nicotine.

The emotional toll that gambling addiction takes on people can be disastrous. In many instances, it can bring bouts of depression. In extreme circumstances, it may lead to suicidal thoughts. Those with a gambling addiction are also more likely to suffer from anxiety and high-stress levels. When a gambling addict loses everything, their life can quickly become hopeless, and they worry about what the future may hold for them.

Luckily, there is hope for those who seek treatment. While treatment programs don’t guarantee a 100% success rate, especially if the individual is forced into the program, there is a chance of recovery and not returning to gambling again.

Medically Reviewed By:

Robert Gerchalk

Robert is our health care professional reviewer of this website. He worked for many years in mental health and substance abuse facilities in Florida, as well as in home health (medical and psychiatric), and took care of people with medical and addictions problems at The Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore. He has a nursing and business/technology degrees from The Johns Hopkins University.

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