Compulsive Gambling

We have learned that compulsive gambling is an illness, not a moral issue. The disease of gambling is two fold: an obsession of the mind coupled with a spiritual emptiness. It can be ARRESTED but never CURED.

Only complete abstinence from the first bet of any kind can arrest this illness. No, one, not the psychiatrist, neither clergy, nor the family can do this for the gambler.

We have found that compulsive gambling does not indicate a lack of affection for the family. It is not a matter of love, but of illness. The gambler has lost the power of choice in the matter of gambling. Even knowing what happens when the first bet is made, the gambler will do so anyway. This is the “insanity” we speak of in regard to this illness.

When we fully understand, and accept the fact that compulsive gambling is a disease, that it is a mental obsession, and that we are powerless over it, we become ready to learn a better way to live.

Explanation taken from the Gamblers Anonymous website:


The explanation that seems most acceptable to Gamblers Anonymous members is that compulsive gambling is an illness, progressive in its nature, which can never be cured, but can be arrested. Before coming to Gamblers Anonymous, many compulsive gamblers thought of themselves as morally weak, or at times just plain ‘no good’. The Gamblers Anonymous concept is that compulsive gamblers are really very sick people who can recover if they will follow to the best of their ability a simple program that has proved successful for thousands of other men and women with a gambling or compulsive gambling problem.