Gambling is an activity that has several negative consequences. Although adolescent gamblers do not lose anything of value, such as their home, spouse, or family, they can experience negative social and family consequences of their behavior. Problem gambling can interfere with relationships, school, and other areas of one’s life. Often, gambling during the adolescent years can be a stepping stone to a more serious gambling problem later on in life.
Problem gambling is a destructive habit, often causing emotional and financial problems for the person who engages in it. It can start as a mild compulsion or escalate over time. It used to be known as compulsive gambling or pathological gambling, but the American Psychiatric Association recently recognized it as an impulse control disorder.
Problem gambling can affect the whole family and even the person’s finances. Gambling is not harmful if done in moderation, but if it becomes a habit and causes problems in the family and life, then it is a problem. Fortunately, there are several resources available to help individuals recover from their problem.
While legalized gambling in Alberta and elsewhere has its pros and cons, it also comes with some negatives. Legalized gambling increases the chances of gambling addiction. Although it’s a relatively harmless pastime, it can lead to financial ruin, broken marriages, and anxiety. In Alberta, it’s possible to get a gambling addiction treatment if you’re in the right place at the right time.
Many Texans support legalized gambling because it could bring in billions of dollars to the state. After all, millions of Texans already gamble outside of the state anyway. But the question is, will legalized gambling cause a gambling addiction epidemic? In Spain, a recent study found a substantial increase in young pathological gamblers. Previous studies indicated that proximity and ease of access were key factors in addiction. In legalized states, citizens can bet from their mobile phones or via an app, removing a potential barrier between future addicts and their fix.
Some states have legalized social gambling as a form of entertainment, but many do not. This type of gambling is only legal if the players have a genuine social relationship. For example, a friendly game of poker does not count as gambling if the players have a 50% chance of winning. Similarly, a friendly game of poker is not gambling if the participants are not related to each other, and there is no buy-in.
Currently, social gambling is legal in all 50 states except for New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. These states have not passed laws specifically legalizing this form of gambling, but have passed laws that make it legal.