Gaming Behavior can lead to financial disaster

The thrill of lining up the three 7’s, the excitement of a game-winning field goal, or the anticipation of scratching a lottery ticket. Every year millions of Americans spend billions of dollars with some form of gambling. Whether its betting on their favorite football team, buying a local lottery ticket, or spending time feeding slot machines, gambling can lead to a financial disaster.

The majority of Americans that engage in some form of gambling can do it responsibly. But, four to six percent of gamblers develop into problem or pathological gamblers. Pathological gambling is a progressive disease and is a chronic inability to resist the impulse to gamble. It affects the gambler, their family, their work, and their finances. It is a disorder of impulse control and can be diagnosed and treated.

Gambling can cause catastrophic damage to your finances. Using money that should go towards bills or borrowing from someone to win-back your losses can easily put you in the hole with little to no chance of getting out. It is best to recognize and treat the signs of problem gambling before it spirals into pathological gambling. Problem gambling is gambling that causes difficulty for the individuals but not at the extremes of a pathological gambler. There are questions and warning signs you can recognize and get yourself back on the right track.

There are many national organizations that help families get through and overcome gambling addiction. The National Council on Problem Gambling strives on educating people on the dangers of gambling. They have a national helpline and information for anyone concerned with gambling addiction. Gam-Anon is a support group for friends and families that are affected by someone’s gambling addiction. Gambler’s Anonymous is a 12-step program for people trying to overcome their compulsion to gamble.


National Council on Problem Gambling

Gambler’s Anonymous


Illinois Institute for Addiction

With the rise in popularity of poker and online fantasy sports teams, more younger people are getting involved with gambling. There are warning signs that you can be aware of to prevent your teenager from becoming hooked.

  • Unexplained need for money.
  • Money or possessions missing from the home.
  • Unexplained charges on credit card bills.
  • Withdrawn from friends and family.
  • Missing school or classes.
  • Frequent anxiety, depression or mood swings.
  • Dropping of outside activities and interests. Excessive watching of TV sports.
  • Upset at the outcome of a sports match.
  • Late night calls.
  • Sudden drop in grades.
  • Interest in sports teams with no previous allegiance.
  • Calling 900 numbers for sports scores and point spreads.
  • Displays of unexplained wealth.

If you are experiencing financial troubles caused by gambling it is a good idea to get a hold of a financial or credit counselor. They will work with you on setting up a budget and educating you on how to get your finances back on track.

Pioneer Credit Counseling is a bonded, non-profit credit counseling agency offering debt management programs, financial counseling, bankruptcy counseling and housing counseling nationwide. Call our friendly counselors today at 800-888-1596 or visit

Our accredited credit counselors will help you take control of your financial life and get out of debt faster than you can on your own. We offer a debt management program that will stop the collections calls, lower your monthly payment and provide you peace of mind. Our pre and post bankruptcy counselors provide an easy process for you so you can focus on rebuilding your financial being.

It is our policy at Pioneer Credit Counseling not only to help people get out of debt, but also educate in sound budgeting practices.

Pioneer Credit Counseling can help you get out of debt faster. Find out how through one of our Debt Management | Debt Management Programs | Credit Counseling | Financial Counseling | Housing Counseling | Bankruptcy Counseling | Financial Educational Materials

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