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Problem Gamblers

With more gaming choices than ever, the people of Kansas are gambling in record numbers. Many players are able to play within their limits, but some lose control. For them, what starts out as fun and exciting can lead to dangerous consequences. There are a number of different reasons people become problem gamblers, but most share one trait in common: a desperate loss of hope.

When hope is gone, the game is no longer about the thrill of winning, but instead about chasing the loss. Problem gamblers jeopardize everything important in their lives – including their family, friends, job and finances. Drastic measures like stealing are considered, or even worse, suicide.

But you and your loved ones can get help. The state of Kansas provides treatment and other resources at no cost to the problem gambler, family members, and concerned others who reside in Kansas.

For most, gambling is fun and can be an enjoyable form of entertainment. Gambling activities include things like:

  • Slot machines and casino games
  • Lottery or scratch-off tickets
  • Sports betting
  • Cards and dice games
  • On-line or internet gambling
  • Car, dog or horse races, or Office pools

However, when gambling is out of control and the game is no longer about winning but about having enough money to keep playing, it can lead to serious consequences.

Problem gambling can result in:

  • Financial debt
  • Damaged relationships
  • Job loss
  • Loss of self-respect
  • Involvement in criminal activity
  • Depression and even suicide

Family and Friends

Problem gamblers aren’t the only ones who suffer from this disorder. People close to the gambler often feel pain, heartache, and anguish as well. At first it’s easy to make excuses for an individual’s gambling behavior – many people feel compelled to loan money in an effort to help. However, the bills soon pile up and seemingly insurmountable debts accumulate. Panic and anxiety set in. Family and friends often feel resentful and isolated, and domestic violence is not uncommon.

Fortunately, there are ways to make changes in your life. Through the support of counseling and Gam-Anon®, you can learn to:

  • Not blame yourself for the problem, and instead take responsibility for your own life
  • Distance yourself from the problem behavior
  • Restore normal life routines
  • Confront and cease enabling behavior
  • Reinforce appropriate actions for recovery

Problem gamblers need the support of family and friends to help them in their recovery. However, the decision to stop gambling has to be the gambler’s choice.If you are concerned that a loved one may have a gambling problem, you may want to talk to them about it.

Family is a vital component to the treatment and recovery of someone struggling with a gambling problem. However, it is equally important for you to obtain the support, treatment,and resources you need during this recovery process.

If you are concerned that someone you know and love may have a gambling problem, you can reach out for support in the following ways:

  • Call the Helpline at 800.522.4700 or nd us online at ksgamblinghelp.com
  • Seek counseling. Kansas has treatment available at no out-of-pocket cost to you, even if the problem gambler does not access treatment. Call 800.522.4700 to learn about the service.
  • Receive continued support through Gam-Anon at www.gam-anon.org
  • Encourage the problem gambler to consider the Voluntary Exclusion Program by calling 785.296.5800.

Spanish Speaking

Con más opciones de juego que nunca, los ciudadanos de Kansas hoy están jugando en números de registro. Muchos jugadores son capaces de jugar dentro de sus límites, pero algunos pierden el control. Para ellos, lo que comienza como divertida y emocionante puede conducir a consecuencias peligrosas. Hay una serie de razones diferentes personas se convierten en jugadores con problemas, pero la mayoría comparten un rasgo en común: una pérdida de esperanza desesperada.

Para la mayoría, el juego de azar es una diversión y puede ser una forma amena de entretenimiento. Las actividades del juego de azar pueden incluir cosas como:

  • Máquinas tragamonedas y juegos de casino
  • Boletos de lotería o raspaditas
  • Apuestas de deportes
  • Juegos de cartas y dados
  • Juegos en línea o por Internet
  • Carreras de autos, perros o caballos, o
  • Compra colectiva de lotería en el trabajo

Sin embargo, cuando el juego de azar está fuera de control y ya no se trata solamente de ganar sino de tener dinero sufi ciente para seguir jugando, puede conducir a consecuencias graves.

El juego problemático puede producir:

  • Deudas fi nancieras
  • Relaciones dañadas
  • Pérdida de empleo
  • Pérdida de autoestima
  • Participación en actividades delictivas
  • Depresión e incluso suicidio

PSA Video


© 2016 South Central Kansas Problem Gambling Task Force