Is Compulsive Gambling a Vice?

Is Compulsive Gambling a Vice?The word “vice” is defined as a practice, behavior or habit considered immoral, depraved or degrading in the associated society. In more minor usage, vice can refer to a fault, a defect, an infirmity or simply a bad habit.

Types of Gambling

Betting is a form of gambling that allows people to bet on the outcome of an event. From duels at twenty paces hundreds of years ago to the fantasy football games of today, betting has been one of the longest enduring forms of gambling. What once was perceived as an innocent game of chance, bingo has now taken on major financial implications. You have slot machines, roulette wheels, craps tables, televised poker tournaments and more. Many fundraisers for worthy causes have used raffles as a method to support their good deeds, and do not forget the national publishing sweepstakes that occurs annually. On top of that, all states have lotteries, but these are often justified because they fund education.

Signs of a Problem with Gambling

While the debate continues over whether gambling is a vice or form of entertainment, the more important question to ask is, “Is your gambling compulsive, abusive and heading towards addiction?” If you answer “yes” to any of the following questions, you may have clearly crossed the line from entertainment to vice:

  • Does gambling help you escape realities that you don’t know how to deal with?
  • Have you attempted to quit gambling before but failed?
  • Do you rely on gambling to bring you happiness or excitement?
  • Does the amount of money you gamble escalate because of prior losses?
  • Does your gambling interfere with maintaining your social interactions with friends and family members?
  • Do you lie about the amount of time or money you spent on gambling?
  • Have you ever lost a job or a relationship because of gambling?
  • Have you ever borrowed or stolen money from your household account?
  • How much of your social time is spent on gambling?
  • Are you ignoring other responsibilities because of gambling?

How to Stop Gambling

If your gambling has reached a point where it is taking over your life, you need to take action before gambling starts controlling you. Here are some ideas that may help:

  • Limit the amount of money you carry so that you are not tempted to spend more than you have
  • Seek help through a support group or formal treatment program
  • While the idea of a sponsor may seem unnecessary, it is be helpful to keep resources on hand to help you should the urge to gamble become strong
  • One day at a time; stop gambling for one day. Use your resources if the temptation becomes overwhelming
  • Think of all the reasons you should stop gambling, from spending more time with your loved ones and handling your responsibilities more effectively
  • Don’t give up; keep a positive attitude and keep your focus on succeeding

Compulsive Gambling Help

You may be questioning your gambling behaviors in an attempt to determine whether you have a gambling addiction. We can explore your feelings, concerns, and behaviors with you. We can also provide you information about getting help. We are available 24 hours a day at a toll-free helpline to answer any questions you might have about gambling addiction treatment. We are here to help.