Gambling has been a socially acceptable activity within the Chinese Community for a long time, and it is certainly widespread throughout North American society.
For most people, gambling is pleasurable, relaxing and harmless. However, to certain people, gambling causes growing and continuing problems in various aspects of life. According to a survey done in 2000, about 7.9% of the population in Ontario has participated in some forms of gambling in the previous year. In some cases, the behaviour is so compulsive that it is beyond the person’s control. These are either problem gamblers or compulsive gamblers, and they represent about 4% of the population, affecting hundreds of thousands of Canadians.
How Can You Tell If You Have a Gambling Problem?
For those whose gambling behaviour is a problem, the simple act of placing a bet is viewed as a SOLUTION rather than a CAUSE to their ongoing problems. Due to gambling, various aspects of their life- family, social, work, financial, health… have been affected.
Some Danger Signals
- An inability to stop gambling whether they win or lose
- Impatience with loved ones
- Fantasizing about a “big win”
- Neglect responsibilities in order to concentrate on gambling activities
- Escape to other excesses (drugs, alcohol, food)
- Lose interest in social activities or gatherings
- Wide mood swings
- Consider life “without gambling” as impossible
- Absenteeism and tardiness from work
The effects of problem gambling is progressive. However, most problem gamblers are unaware and unable to sense the problem. Often, their families, friends and employers are the ones who suffer the most.
Do you or someone you know have a gambling problem?
Do you want to know more about problem and/or compulsive gambling?
For information and counselling services, please contact