Gambling Addiction A Growing Global Health Concern

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Gambling addiction is a serious issue that affects millions of people worldwide. While gambling can be an enjoyable pastime for many, it can quickly spiral out of control and lead to devastating consequences. In this article, we’ll dive into the latest gambling addiction statistics and explore the impact of this growing global health concern.

The Prevalence of Gambling Addiction

According to recent studies, the prevalence of gambling addiction varies across different countries and regions. In the United States, an estimated 1% of the population, or approximately 2.5 million people, have a severe gambling addiction. Additionally, around 3 million American adults are at risk of becoming compulsive gamblers, while 15 million are considered problem gamblers.


Prevalence of Gambling Addiction

United States

1% (severe addiction)

United Kingdom





5% increase in gambling losses (2017-2018)

It’s important to note that these figures may not represent the full scope of the problem, as many individuals with gambling addictions do not seek help or treatment due to the lack of physical symptoms associated with the disorder.

The Financial Impact of Gambling Addiction

Gambling addiction not only takes a toll on an individual’s mental and physical health but also their financial well-being. In the United States, an estimated 23 million people go into debt because of gambling, with the average loss being around $55,000. This financial strain can lead to a vicious cycle, as many people attempt to recoup their losses by investing even more money, often resulting in even greater debt.

●   US citizens spend around $500 billion on wages every year

Gambling Addiction A Growing Global Health Concern

●   Gambling problems cost the UK $369 million to $1.7 billion annually

●   Australians lost a total of $19.19 million on gambling between 2017 and 2018

The Demographics of Gambling Addiction

Gambling addiction can affect people of all ages, genders, and backgrounds. However, some demographic groups may be more vulnerable to developing a gambling problem than others.

●   Around 80 to 90% of Gamblers Anonymous attendees admitted to engaging in illegal acts to obtain gambling money

●   In the UK, 29.3% of adults between the ages of 35 and 44 gamble regularly (at least once every four weeks)

●   1.9% of 11-16 year-olds from England and Scotland are considered problem gamblers

●   In the US, 2.1% of residents ages 14-21 struggle with gambling problems

It’s also worth noting that women may be less likely to seek help for gambling addiction than men. According to gambling support networks, only 1% of women who have experienced gambling-caused harm will reach out for assistance.

Seeking Help for Gambling Addiction

Overcoming a gambling addiction is possible, but it requires acknowledging the problem and seeking appropriate help and support. Some steps that can be taken to address a gambling addiction include:

1. Joining a support group, such as Gamblers Anonymous

2. Seeking cognitive-behavioral therapy from a qualified professional

3. Considering medication, such as antidepressants, under the guidance of a healthcare provider

4. Implementing regulatory mechanisms, such as entrusting finances to an advisor

It’s crucial to remember that gambling addiction is a recognized mental health disorder, and seeking help is a sign of strength, not weakness.

Gambling Addiction A Growing Global Health Concern


Gambling addiction is a growing global health concern that affects millions of people worldwide. The financial, mental, and physical consequences of this disorder can be severe and far-reaching. By understanding the prevalence, impact, and demographics of gambling addiction, we can work towards better prevention, support, and treatment options for those affected by this issue. If you or someone you know is struggling with a gambling addiction, don’t hesitate to reach out for help.

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