Gambling Addiction

Published: January 25 2011


Gambling has become one of America’s favorite forms of entertainment. Bettors are expected to wager 100 million dollars on the Super Bowl this year. But if wagering gets out of hand, win or lose, gambling can prove to be a bed bet. In addition to risking financial loss, people who develop too much of a taste for betting excitement could come to enjoy it too much. But University of Florida researchers say there are warning signs of a gambling problem.

Dr. Scott Teitelbaum/UF addiction specialist: “One of the things, for example, with sports gambling that we can see is when you start to see people interested in games that have no national significance and the person doesn’t even root for the team.”

Experts say betting as little as five times a year may cause stress, obesity, or mood or anxiety disorders. Experts say don’t let that first big win fool you.

Dr. Scott Teitelbaum/UF addiction specialist: “Sometimes that first big win shows that this isn’t that hard and that this is an easy way to make money and that big win is reinforcing. So that does happen and most people with gambling problems have had times when they had big wins but the addictive nature and the compulsivity, they always go down and they lose a lot more.”

Research shows gambling addictions are on the rise in young men and elderly women because of the ease of placing a bet with modern technology.