A recent article in Salon.com by Sam Skolnik detailed the country’s increasing reliance on gaming revenue and the toll it’s taking on the lives of problem gamblers. Among the many aspects of gambling touched on in the article is the ongoing issue of whether problem gambling is a matter of willpower. Here is a relevant excerpt on the perceived shame in acknowledging a gambling problem:
There’s a certain shame attached to confessing a gambling addiction in our culture, even more so than copping to being an alcoholic or a cocaine addict. Many still believe that people gamble excessively because of a lack of willpower or because they’re simply immoral. These antiquated beliefs are beginning to fade, as doctors, scientists, and researchers are increasingly concluding that pathological gambling is a behavioral addiction that affects the brain in much the same way as substance dependencies.
The article, which can be found here, is an excerpt from a new book called High Stakes: The Rising Cost of America’s Gambling Addiction.