Just ahead of the big game, gambling addiction is also being brought to the forefront.
According to a counselor with 1 800 GAMBLER, a gambling addiction is easier to hide compared to an alcohol or drug addiction.
“They’re not gonna be going into work hungover, they’re not going to have track marks, they’re not going to be nodding off, it’s not an addiction that you smell, ” said Virginia Shelhammer, 1-800 GAMBLER counselor.
She adds online gambling fuels the addiction because of how easily accessible it is.
“You can actually do that in the restroom at work, you can be doing it at home while your kids are watching the TV in front of you,” said Shelhammer.
She noted the addiction can get so bad, the gambler can get into deep financial trouble. For example, spouses may not know the gambler has taken a second mortgage on the house or loved ones may discover their money has been stolen.
Shelhammer said the mindset of a gambler is that they are always going to win the next one, so they feel when they take money, whether it be for utilities or petty cash at work, they can replace it the next day.
How do you know if you’re addicted to gambling? According to 1-800-GAMBLER, here are some signs:
- You’ve tried to quit, but you can’t.
- You think you can win back the money you lost.
- You bet more and more each time.
- You think about gambling often.