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What Is Problem Gambling?

Problem gambling is gambling behavior which causes disruptions in any major area of life: psychological, physical, social or vocational. The term "Problem Gambling" includes, but is not limited to, the condition known as "Pathological", or "Compulsive" Gambling, a progressive addiction 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. (Source: National Council on Problem Gambling)

Two Basic Types of Gamblers

In terms of gambling behavior and choice of favored gambling venues, there are two types of gamblers: the action gambler and the escape gambler.

  • Action Gamblers typically experience the progressive phases of compulsive gambling over a ten to thirty year length of time.
  • Escape Gamblers enter the chasing phase of gambling rapidly. Desperation and hopelessness can come well within two or three years.

Gambling habits and characteristics can also be affected by gender and age. Learn more about these types of gamblers:

Male Gamblers Teen Gamblers
Female Gamblers Senior Gamblers


If you or someone in Indiana you know needs help with problem gambling, reach out – we’re here to help.