Gambling is created for purposes of leisure such as horse racing, poker and cards. However, when the gamblers are mentally inability to control their behaviour in engaging gambling activities, it becomes a problem. Terms like pathological gambling, problem gambling, or gambling addictions are used to describe such condition. American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM-IV) characterises it as a disorder of impulse control. Features include “mood disorders, stress related medical conditions and personality disorders, chronic and progressive failure to resist impulses to gamble and gambling behaviour that compromises or disrupts the gambler’s life.” Therefore, a problem gambler may appear some or all of the following symptoms:
1. Preoccupation: frequent thoughts about gambling experiences
2. Tolerance: increase the feeling of “rush” about gambling
3. Withdrawal: feel irritable when try to stop or reduce gambling
4. Escape: use gambling to escape problems
5. Chasing: try to win back the loss with more gambling
6. Lying: hide the fact of gambling
7. Loss of control: fail to reduce gambling
8. Illegal acts: steal, cheating, deceit, fake
9. Risked significant relationship: gamble despite risking or losing a relationship, job, or other opportunities
10. Bailout: ask for financial assistance as a result of gambling
When someone obsesses three or more symptoms, he/she will be diagnosed as pathological gambler or gamble addict.
. Statistics and demographic
According to PC Survey of Clients of Counselling Agencies, PC National Gambling Survey (1999) gamblers under 25 years old are likely to develop as problem gamblers as twice that of gamblers as a whole. The follow table shows the details.
Dickerson et al. (1997) revealed that there are about 1 out of 100 Australian adults, equivalent to about 1 30 000 adults estimated to have severe gambling problems.
The Survey of Clients of