How Problem Gambling Can Affect the Individual

A common belief of many gamblers is that the only cost of excessive gambling is financial loss. This is understandable, as financial losses are measurable. In reality, though, the effects of excessive gambling are often more extensive and include psychological and emotional risks, which are much more difficult to measure. Usually, these risks are not readily recognizable or taken seriously by those involved until much damage has occurred.

Here are some of the effects of excessive gambling:


  • borrowing money from famiy and friends to gamble
  • debts, bankruptcy
  • exhausted life savings/retirement accounts
  • involvement with loan sharks


  • committing of illegal acts
  • being sued or harassed by creditors
  • arrest by police


  • reduced productivity
  • being laid off
  • unexplainable absences or lateness

Physical Health

  • insomnia
  • panic attacks
  • ulcers
  • alcohol or drug use


  • quarrels with spouse/family members
  • divorce or separation
  • isolation from family and friends
  • difficulties in maintaining relationships

Mental Health

  • depression
  • panic, desperation
  • low self-esteem
  • changes in personality
  • suicidal thoughts or attempts


  • inability to concentrate while studying
  • skipping classes
  • decrease in grade points or general performance

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