NHS Choices: Gambling Addiction
Jake lost £10,000 the first time he gambled online. In this video from the United Kingdom’s National Health Service, he talks candidly about how that disastrous first bet was just the beginning of his gambling addiction and of the anxiety attacks and physical and mental exhaustion that came along with it. In addition to Jake’s first-hand accounts, there are interviews with gambling addiction professionals who also discuss the destructive impact that gambling addiction can have on not only the problem gamblers themselves but on their jobs, families and finances, as well. (00:04:10)
Slot Machines: The Big Gamble
Currently, there are more than twice the number of slot machines than ATMs in America and more money is spent on these slot machines than on movies, baseball and theme parks combined. Modern slot machines, with their blinking lights, loud noises and continuous nature—no waiting for fellow players, the dealer or roulette wheel—have the greatest potential to lead to gambling addiction than any other form of gambling according to this 60 Minutes segment. This report includes a broad number of interviews from recovering problem gamblers to addiction specialists to politicians addressing the building of new casinos. (00:13:09)
Bottoming Out: Gambling Addiction in Las Vegas
This powerful self-produced documentary tells the story of Tony, a 46-year old man transplanted from California to Las Vegas. After arriving in Vegas, Tony went to a casino and played $5 on the penny slots; he won $80 back and was hooked. Soon, $5 turned into thousands. Tony kept telling himself he’d play enough to pay off his debt, but that never quite happened. He began video recording himself while gambling and would then play the video back later to remind himself of what a waste it was. This video merges his account today with the video he took then. (00:17:46)
Women Addicted to Gambling
In the 1980s, women accounted for only a handful of those seeking treatment for gambling addiction; today, women make up 50% of those seeking treatment according to this CBS News report on gambling addiction and women. This video highlights four women whose addiction to gambling took them to depths they never thought they’d see – losing an entire retirement fund, going to prison for stealing money to gamble, and leaving her newborn son for a poker game buy-in. As an expert interviewed in the video suggests, gambling could become one of the most significant addictions of our time. (00:05:11)
Online Gambling Causing Real Problems
The internet has taken gambling beyond casinos and betting houses and into homes worldwide. As this segment from ABC News Australia reports, online gambling has opened the doors of gambling to people who normally wouldn’t place a bet in person. Prior to placing a bet on an Australian football game online, Mike had never gambled; now he places online bets on events from sports to the royal wedding. A 2011 survey found that not only does online gambling acerbate the habits of existing problem gamblers but that a new segment of problem gamblers has been created – online gamblers – and that approximately one-third of these had no previous gambling experience. (00:05:11)
In 1999, there was talk of building a casino near Monroe, Connecticut. In response, local community leaders began investigating a prevention program aimed at discouraging teen gambling and in 2001, GAMES, a gambling awareness program, was launched. Narrated by the students of GAMES, this video explains the peer-to-peer program which allows teens to educate their fellow students on the risks and potential dangers of gambling. While, ironically, the casino was never built, over 600 students have participated in this leadership program, working to help students make informed decisions before gambling becomes a problem.
Understanding Joy: The Devastation of a Gambling Addiction
With an estimated 150,000 problem gamblers in the state and a growing number of casino-based gambling opportunities available in Maryland and surrounding states, problem gambling has become epidemic. To explore the issue, Maryland Public Television presents a revealing free documentary on the destructive nature of gambling addiction. The one-hour special also features a panel of experts.
Understanding Joy enters the mind of Joy, a 57-year-old woman. Joy’s gambling addiction has overcome her sense of morality and driven her to embezzle $700,000 from two employers. As she awaits sentencing for her crime, Joy struggles to explain her disease to her children, to the world, and to herself.