compulsive gambling or pathological gambling, a psychological disorder characterized by a persistent inability to resist the impulse to gamble. The disorder is progressive and typically results in difficulties in one's personal, social, and work life; it may lead to bankruptcy or criminal activity to obtain money. The prevalence of compulsive gambling in the United States has increased with that of gambling itself, and it has been estimated that up to 3% of the adult population may gamble pathologically.
Most gamblers are able to stay within reasonable limits in the amounts they gamble. Compulsive gamblers tend to lose control of the amounts they risk and cannot stop gambling even when they continue to lose. Although money is important to them, they often say they are looking for "action," an excited or euphoric state comparable to the "high" of drug abuse. They often use gambling as a way of escaping from problems in daily life or from feelings of depression or anxiety. Eventually, compulsive gamblers may engage in forgery, theft, or other crimes to provide money for continued gambling or to alleviate a desperate financial situation resulting from gambling losses.
Compulsive gambling is a highly treatable disorder. For many, psychotherapy and active participation in Gamblers Anonymous, a support group with local chapters patterned on Alcoholics Anonymous, have proven effective.
See F. Barthelme and S. Barthelme, Double Down: Reflections on Gambling and Loss (1999).
"compulsive gambling." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. (March 24, 2019). https://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/compulsive-gambling
"compulsive gambling." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Retrieved March 24, 2019 from Encyclopedia.com: https://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/compulsive-gambling
Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).
Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.
Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:
Modern Language Association
The Chicago Manual of Style
American Psychological Association
- Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
- In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.