Problem Gambling: A Beginner’s Guide for Clinical and Forensic Professionals

Jerrod Brown


Gambling is an activity where individuals wager something of value, most often money, in order to win something of greater value (American Psychiatric Association, 2013; Potenza, 2008). Many participate in gambling as a means of social entertainment. An estimated 70-90% of people worldwide have participated in some form of gambling such as casino gambling, sports betting or the lottery (Abbott, Volberg, & Rönnberg, 2004; Raylu & Oei, 2002; Wardle, Moody, Griffiths, Orford, & Volberg, 2011). Gamblers wager over 90 billion dollars per year in the United States on various forms (see Table 1) of gambling (American Gaming Association, 2014). For some, this simple act of entertainment can progress into a serious addiction resulting in severe consequences. In addition to the potential for extreme financial loss, a gambling addiction can negatively affect interpersonal functioning, family relationships, and employment goals (American Psychiatric Association, 2013). A gambling disorder may also lead to criminal activity and involvement in the criminal justice system. The primary focus of this article is to highlight the impact problem gambling has on clinical and forensic populations. 

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[BH] ISSN  (Online) 2331-7582
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