Dealing With a Loved One Who Has a Problem With Gambling


Gambling is a complex activity that encompasses many different types of games and activities. However, the vast majority of people who participate in gambling do so without any significant adverse consequences. A small percentage of individuals, on the other hand, develop a serious problem with gambling that results in major adverse personal, family, and financial effects. This is referred to as pathological gambling (PG).

Regardless of the specific game or activity, all forms of gambling involve three things: consideration, risk, and a prize. Consideration involves placing something of value on an event with a high degree of randomness and the expectation of winning a prize that is equal or greater to the amount of money invested. Risk is the possibility of losing something of value. And the prize is a positive outcome in relation to the investment of time and/or money.

There are a number of different strategies for dealing with a loved one who has a problem with gambling. These include:

Having open and honest communication about the issue is key. If your loved one is secretive about their gambling or lying to you about the amount of time and money they’re spending, it may be time to seek professional help.

It’s also important to set boundaries in managing the family’s finances, especially when it comes to credit. When someone is unable to control their urges and financial decisions, it can lead them down a dangerous path of debt and bankruptcy. Family therapy and marriage, career, and credit counseling can help you work through these issues and get your family back on track.