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Issues for the Male Problem Gambler

Male gamblers are often identified as action gamblers. The phases of gambling which an action gambler may experience generally progress through the following:

  • winning phase:  gambling to win and to have entertainment
  • losing phase:  gambling in order to recoup losses (chasing)  
  • desperation/hopeless phase:  gambling because he cannot keep from the action of gambling

Male Gambler

The male gambler’s attitude toward action gambling may move from initially planning gambling activity with cautious bets, to impulsive betting, to panicky and superstitious long shots. 

Consequently, he begins with optimism and progresses, ultimately, to fear, depression, powerlessness, and remorse. From euphoric feelings to attempts to regain the glow of this euphoria, the action gambler continues to tap his dwindling resources.

As his involvement in gambling progresses, part-time gambling becomes full-time. The gambler’s employment becomes jeopardized with leave-taking from work to gamble. Eventually, family life is severely affected as alienation with loved ones and friends takes place. In chasing losses, heavy borrowing and even criminal activity may occur in order to obtain money to continue betting. Distorted thinking, full-time lying, lack of personal hygiene, and suicidal ideation are common marks of the action pathological gambler in the desperate/hopeless phase.   

Treatment should include attendance at traditional Gamblers Anonymous Meetings, with the importance of Step 1 and the concept of surrender emphasized.

Source:  Senior Prevention Intervention Counseling Education (S.P.I.C.E.), Topeka, Kansas


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

What Resources are Available?

National Problem Gambling Help Line
(800) 522-4700

The National Problem Gambling Help Line provides help to people with gambling problems and their families. Callers receive confidential, professional service from trained counselors. The line operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week and is free of charge.

Indiana Help Line
(800) 994-8448

Gambling Recovery Ministries
(812) 926-1052

Gamblers Anonymous (GA)

Gam-Anon: A peer-led support group, Gam-Anon provides a supportive environment for the spouses, relatives, or close friends of- problem gamblers to share their experiences. There is no membership fee.  A list of local meetings is available by calling the above Problem Gambling Help Lines.