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Dangers of Gambling Addiction Are Downplayed by TV Ads
Dr. Patricia A. Farrell -- Psychologist Dr. Patricia A. Farrell -- Psychologist
For Immediate Release:
Dateline: Tenafly, NJ
Friday, May 5, 2023

Dr. Patricia Farrell
4 min read2 hours ago

Families disintegrate, homes are lost, and children become a financial burden once gambling addiction strikes, but TV ads are fueling it.

Photo by the blowup on Unsplash

A serious condition, gambling addiction, aka compulsive gambling, can result in ruined finances, strained relationships, and mental health issues. It is now simpler for compulsive gamblers to place bets from their cell phones thanks to the accessibility of gambling through technology, which has added access to the equation. Gambling can also activate the brain’s reward system in a manner similar to that of drugs or alcohol, which can result in addiction.

The sophistication of TV ads for gambling has added to the problem because they depict a life of luxury, fun, and visiting exotic locales—all with plenty of money in hand. Everyone is dressed beautifully, laughing, and seems to be having the time of their lives. There may be a tiny mention at the bottom of the screen about getting help if you have a gambling addiction. Does that seem a bit disingenuous to you? It is a double-bind situation if ever there was one; gambling and having fun, fun, fun, and then going to rehab to try to piece your life back together again.

A popular and potentially addictive form of gambling is scratch cards. Spending money intended for other things on scratch cards, feeling the desire to buy more of them continually, and feeling horrible after purchasing scratch cards are all possible indicators of scratch card addiction.

Have you seen how high the lottery payouts are? Now they have to be in the billions, not millions. But not one of those buyers, I will bet, knows that the more people who buy the lottery cards, the lower your chances of winning anything. It’s all about the numbers.

In addition to being addictive, TV casino gambling can also be used as a distraction from worries and issues in the outside world. People who are addicted to gambling may chase bets that end in losses, deplete their savings, and accrue debt. There’s something called the jackpot or casino mentality. Illegal gambling was dependent on it. It happens when someone believes the next bet will be the one that brings huge gains and it keeps them going.

I recall walking through a Las Vegas casino where I saw a quite elderly couple sit for up to twelve hours a day at a slot machine where they fed coins into it and repeatedly pulled the lever. They refused to give up their seats because they believed the next round would be the jackpot.

Another man, who had realized an unexpected fortune in mining, lost it all in a casino and an older woman lost all the money she’d brought with her in the first four hours off the plane. She had to have someone else help her with her expenses and get her home from the trip.

States that promote lotteries, while also providing gambling recovery facilities, can put those with gambling addiction in a catch-22 situation. While gambling rehab centers may aid in addiction recovery, the state’s promotion of lotteries may make it challenging for patients to avoid relapse. Lotteries are frequently utilized to boost state income, but they may also raise the prevalence of gambling addiction.

States Are Adding to the Problem

It has been controversial and contentious to use state lottery proceeds for education. Despite the fact that many state lotteries were founded with the intention of raising money for education, the actual results are frequently inconsistent. The majority of state lotteries assert that their “primary objective” is to maximize funding for education, even though some governments use lottery revenue to maintain their parks and highways.

But over time, lottery funds have increasingly been used to replace existing educational funding rather than supplement it, which has frequently resulted in a reduction in overall educational funding. As an illustration, North Carolina, which started its lottery in 2005 with the declared goal of allocating 100% of the earnings to public education, has since reduced education funding and now allows less money than it did when the lottery first began.

Even when lottery winnings are designated for education, they often only account for a small portion of state education spending. While lotteries were helping to fund education, they made up a relatively small portion of school funding, according to a 2007 New York Times analysis of state lottery programs.

How, in good conscience, can any state condone huge casinos, advertise lotteries and online gambling on TV, and also offer rehab for the very problem they are complicit in creating? Consumers are being victimized.

Anyone with a gambling addiction should go to: Gamblers Anonymous for help. You are not alone.

Website: www.drfarrell.net

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News Media Interview Contact
Name: Dr. Patricia A. Farrell, Ph.D.
Title: Licensed Psychologist
Group: Dr. Patricia A. Farrell, Ph.D., LLC
Dateline: Tenafly, NJ United States
Cell Phone: 201-417-1827
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