Gambling Risk Levels
There are few activities that have seen more growth and change in Minnesota in recent years than gambling. There are risks.
Low Risk Gambling
Low risk gambling is done socially with family, friends, or colleagues, but not alone. It is often combined with other forms of entertainment. Low risk gambling is done for limited amounts of time, both in frequency and duration. Recreational benefits are found in the excitement of taking a chance, the thrill of winning, and the fun of being with friends while gambling.
With low risk gambling, financial gain is rarely the benefit. Low risk gambling has predetermined limits for losses that are acceptable. An acceptable amount for a gambling loss could range from a very small amount to whatever would not affect ongoing family spending for ongoing needs and wants. People need to expect that they will lose more often than they will win — the odds are always against winning!
High Risk Gambling
What are signs of high risk gambling? High-risk gambling involves:
- Borrowing money to gamble.
- Gambling interfering with work.
- Betting beyond one's limit.
- Engaging in illegal gambling.
If you, or someone you know, engages in one or more high risk gambling behaviors, it is time to assess the situation and try to move it back into the low risk gambling category. If this can not be done, it is time to seek help.
Very High Risk Gambling
What are signs of very high risk gambling? Gambling is considered very high risk when:
- It is done to relieve stress, loneliness, anger, or depression.
- It makes up for a loss or series of losses.
- It is done to impress others.
- It is done to cope with the death of a loved one.
If you, or someone you know, engages in one or more very high risk gambling behaviors, it is time to seek help.
If the gambling activity of yourself, a family member, or friend concerns you, do not hesitate to contact Northstar Problem Solver Gambling Alliance at 1-800-333-4673. A call can be anonymous.
National Council on Problem Gambling. (2008). Website. Washington, D.C.: National Council on Problem Gambling.