The Aftermath of Gambling Addiction on Relationships

October 14, 2020
The Florida Council on Compulsive Gambling, Inc.

Multiple factors can influence a person to develop a gambling addiction. It is essential to know that most individuals who struggle with this addiction by no means planned to let their gambling spiral out of control. To help individuals who battle with problem gambling, we must understand the difficulties they face. Problem gambling results in far-reaching challenges beyond the financial hardships that can affect nearly every area of one’s life.

There are many ways that gambling addiction can also bring turmoil to the individuals that surround the gambler. For every case of problem gambling, 8-10 other people are also affected. Conversations about gambling addiction may be a difficult task when it comes to speaking to loved ones. However, contacts to the 888-ADMIT-IT HelpLine demonstrate how much pressure gambling addiction puts on relationships. Looking at HelpLine data from the past year, it is evident that issues such as family conflict, family neglect, and domestic violence are serious and significant impacts resulting from gambling addiction. Seventy-six percent of callers reported family conflict, and 52% indicated family neglect as a result of gambling addiction [1].

By listening to the stories of the brave people who have shared their stories, we can see that these impacts are much more than a statistic. When Betty White’s husband developed a gambling addiction, which is also known as the hidden addiction due to the lack of physical signs, he continually lied to her to keep his gambling a secret.

The situation escalated to the point where she almost lost her life due to her husband’s desperation from where gambling had taken him [2].

In the final stages of a gambling disorder, when gamblers have exhausted all finances, credit, and bailout options, some turn to crime as a means of taking one more risk to reconcile their desperate situations [1]. In relationships, domestic abuse can also arise as a result of problem gambling.

While it may feel as though there is no way out with gambling addiction, there are resources available for every situation, and treatment is possible. Many loved ones and people experiencing gambling addiction have sought help and found hope by reaching our 888-ADMIT-IT Problem Gambling Helpline. Loved ones such as Betty have found support and hope just by picking up the phone. If you feel like you or a loved one is struggling with gambling addiction, know that the 888-ADMIT-IT HelpLine is entirely confidential and is available 24/7, and also offers multilingual support. Help and hope are just a call or click away.

The FCCG’s 24-hour confidential and multilingual HelpLine may be reached by calling 888-ADMIT-IT (888-236-4848), texting (321) 978-0555, emailing fccg@gamblinghelp.org, initiating a live chat at gamblinghelp.org, or by reaching out to us on social media platforms.

[1] 24-Hour Problem Gambling HelpLine Annual Report., 2020 ed., The Florida Council on Compulsive Gambling, Inc., 2020, 24-Hour Problem Gambling HelpLine Annual Report. [2]Florida Council of Compulsive Gambling (2015). Surviving Compulsive Gambling: The Betty White Story [Video file]. Retrieved September 2020, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rMghvaFhnQI