Gambling is hard on finances and families

Don’t count on winning the lottery,” is something I say a lot.  What I am trying to convey is that you need to plan for your financial future and stop hoping for a miracle.  Yet a gambler’s recent letter to the Advice Team made me remember that there are some serious issues related to the desire to win.

It is estimated that 85% of adults in the United States have gambled at least once in their lives, 80% in past year.  For most, it is an occasional activity that never results in serious problems. For others, however, it becomes an irresistible compulsion with serious consequences.

Before you can start to get a handle on a gambling problem, you have to be able to recognize the symptoms of this hidden disease. One of the key symptoms of problem gambling is frequent borrowing.  As a result, one of the most serious measurable problems caused by gambling is debt. In fact, the majority of the people who contact the National Council of Problem Gambling report that their debts were a contributing reason for seeking help.

If you or someone you know struggles with a gambling addition, call the National Council of Problem Gambling at 800-522-4700 or visit GamblersAnonymous.org.

Kim McGrigg is the former Manager of Community and Media Relations for MMI.

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