Problem Gambling in the United States


Gambling is an activity in which you stake something of value on an event that is uncertain. You should carefully consider the risk and prize before placing a wager. If the event does not happen as you expect, you may end up losing it. This article discusses the problem of gambling in the United States. Behavioral factors associated with problem gambling are also discussed.

Problem gambling in the United States

The prevalence of problem gambling in the United States varies significantly by gender and race. It is more common in blacks, Hispanics, and Native Americans than in whites and Asians. It is higher among those between the ages of 18 and 30, and drops considerably with age. Problem gambling is also more prevalent among those in the lowest third of the socioeconomic scale (SES), and decreases with increased SES.

Several recent studies have shown that the number of Americans who report problem gambling varies according to income and socioeconomic status. In 1975, the number of problem gamblers was lower among those with the lowest income level, but higher income groups had higher rates of problem gambling. These differences disappeared in the next quarter century. However, a recent study by Welte et al. showed that problem gambling rates were still high among those in the lowest socioeconomic status, even in 2001.

Problem gambling causes a host of social problems, including increased crime and divorce. As a result, the cost of problem gambling is significant. In fact, the social cost of a single problem gambler is estimated at about $10,000 a year.

Behavioral factors associated with problem gambling in the United States

According to one study, there are several behavioral factors associated with problem gambling in the United States. Among these factors are gender, age, family life satisfaction, and school related factors. The findings show that gambling and risk-taking are associated, and the younger a person is, the more likely he or she will be to develop gambling problems.

Gambling is a popular activity among adolescents and young adults. It provides a sense of excitement and entertainment and appeals to bored adolescents. However, a problem with gambling can be dangerous and can develop into an addiction. Gambling disorder is a serious issue, and the earlier a person is diagnosed with it, the better. Although younger people are more prone to gambling disorder, it is also common in older adults. According to a research article published in 2020, 70 percent of adults aged 60 and older reported gambling in the previous year.

Individuals with mood disorders are also more likely to have gambling problems. People who have these disorders often experience persistent worries or fear and use gambling to cope with these symptoms. However, this relief is temporary and the symptoms usually return with a greater intensity. People with these disorders are also more likely to have problem gambling if they also have another disorder.


Counseling for gambling addiction can help anyone struggling with this disorder. This type of therapy is based on a 12-step model of addiction treatment and emphasizes the importance of peer support. Moreover, it is cost-effective and accessible. Counselors can help pathological gamblers develop strategies to deal with conflicting emotions and urges. These strategies include cognitive-behavioral therapy and systematic exposure therapy.

Problem gambling often results in problems in school, work, and other areas of one’s life. Symptoms can include anxiety, depression, and loss of interest in regular activities. In addition, people may experience weight gain, pale skin, or dark circles under their eyes. They may also experience guilt or depression about their behavior.

The Gambling Helpline Service offers free, confidential, and anonymous help. The helpline offers telephone consultations and online email support. Approximately 1500 people seek help from the service each year. Individuals can also use the helpline’s anonymous chat option. A brief assessment, feedback, and advice can be provided by a trained counselor through the chat option. These counselors are social workers and psychologists with expertise in problem gambling. The average session lasts 45 minutes.