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What is Gambling?

For many people, gambling can be a harmless form of entertainment. It can include card games, sporting events, trips to the casino, lottery tickets, bingo and so many other activities. However, for some people, gambling can become a problem when it starts to negative impact their life. People from all cultures, races, ethnicities, gender and ages can experience negative effects from gambling. According to the Indiana Council on Problem Gambling (2013), about 4% of people who gamble will develop a gambling problem.

When gambling begins to negatively impact a person’s life, this is known as problem gambling. Problem gambling occurs when gambling behaviors negatively impact a person’s work, family, health, spirituality or mental well-being. Many times problem gambling is referred to as gambling addiction or compulsive or pathological gambling, but not everyone who experiences negative consequences from gambling develops gambling addiction or pathological gambling. Gambling addiction occurs when a person experiences: increased thoughts about gambling, a need to risk more or larger quantities of money, irritability if not able to gamble, a need to win back or “chase” money that was lost, and gambling continues in spite of negative consequences (Indiana Council on Problem Gambling, 2013).

Here is a link to a Gambler’s Anonymous self-assessment to help determine if there is a gambling problem:

Gambling Treatment Services

Indiana has a problem gambling help line for those individuals needing to talk with someone or to find local resources for problem gambling treatment. The Indiana Problem Gambling Help Line’s phone number is (800) 994-8448.

Grant Blackford Mental Health offers gambling treatment for problem gambling. These services are based on an individual’s needs and can include a variety of services, including individual therapy, psychiatric treatment, case management, financial counseling and family therapy. Grant Blackford Mental Health is also listed as an enrollment site for the Voluntary Exclusion Program for the Indiana Gaming Commission. Because of this, we can help individuals complete and submit an application stating they voluntarily exclude themselves from casinos to the Indiana Gaming Commission. According to the Indiana Council of Problem Gambling (2013), the State of Indiana receives up to $3 million annually from casinos to help fund treatment services. Because of this, gambling treatment services can be partially funded to make treatment more affordable for individuals. For more information about gambling treatment services offered at Grant Blackford Mental Health, please contact us at 765-662-2039.

Problem Gambling Resources

Indiana Council on Problem Gambling

Gambler’s Anonymous

Meeting Locations for Gambler’s Anonymous

Gam-Anon (for family members)

Meeting Locations for Gam-Anon

GamBlock (blocks internet access to gambling websites)

Voluntary Exclusion Program (VEP) of the Indiana Gaming Commission (allows individuals to exclude themselves from all Indiana casinos for 1 year, 5 years or life if they sign up for the program)

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