Endless hours spent at the casino, chasing bad money with good money, losing more and more, as you become more and more desperate. It can’t happen to you right? You only play the occasional game of poker, or throw a few dollars into a slot machine occasionally. There can be a fine line between social gambling and compulsive gambling, and nobody who becomes a compulsive gambler, ever thinks that is will happen to them.

Millions of people gamble every year. Whether it’s at the slots in Las Vegas, or betting on the horses at the local track, gambling is common place. In fact, more and more casinos are popping up all over the countryside every day making it easier and more acceptable for gambling to become part of your social life.

For most people gambling will always be a harmless pastime that is participated in only recreationally. But for a few, the occasional gambling experience will turn into a downward spiral that will lead to a dangerous addiction. It is estimated that 3% of Americans will at some time experience a very serious problem with gambling that could eventually lead to desperation involving crime, suicide and broken families.

The risks and dangers of compulsive gambling are real and very damaging. Gambling addicts suffer from a very high risk of broken families because the divorce rate doubles for gambling addicts. Those with children may risk losing their children to ex husbands and wives or even social services if they are unable to care properly for them.

Desperate for more money to spend at the casino in search of the next high, gambling addicts are more likely to lose their jobs as they are unable to properly function during the day, making excuses to leave and go to the casino. Or perhaps they take the risk and steal from their job?

Drowning in debt, gambling addicts will often sell everything they have in order to get more money to cover their habit. Compulsive gamblers often lose their house as they cannot keep up with mortgage payments or regular bill payments of any kind.

Compulsive gambling is dangerous, and it has real and very dangerous consequences for its addicts just like any other addiction. It is important to treat compulsive gambling like the dangerous addiction that it really is.

Jocelyn is the author of Your Life Beyond Gambling” – a completely FREE minicourse that will tell you everything you need to know about “problem” gambling and how to get rid of it. If you or someone you care about seems to have gambling problem, you can visit the website at http://www.yourlifebeyondgambling.com for help and advice.

By L.C.