Statistics on Gambling Trends in the United States
The National Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG) estimates that approximately 5 million Americans meet the criteria for compulsive gambling. However, only around 8 percent of these individuals will ever seek help for their problem. Gambling addiction is very treatable once it has been identified.
Gambling addiction is a significant public health concern characterized by increasing preoccupation with gambling, a need to bet more money more frequently, restlessness or irritability when attempting to stop, “chasing” losses, and loss of control manifested by continuation of the gambling behavior in spite of mounting, serious, negative consequences. The American Psychiatric Association defines gambling disorder as: “Persistent and recurrent problematic gambling behavior leading to clinically significant impairment or distress” that meets at least four of nine criteria.1
1 American Psychiatric Association. Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition. Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Association (2013).