From “social” to “pro,” the different classifications of gamblers each have different characteristics and degrees of danger associated with them.
All gamblers are not created equal. There are a variety of different types of the characteristics and reasons for indulging are varied as well. Understanding them can help in identifying pathological gamblers – or those at risk for becoming pathological gamblers -- and getting them help for their addiction.
The different “types” include:
The Casual Social Gambler – This person gambles infrequently for entertainment and wouldn’t miss it if it were gone.
The Serious Social Gambler – This person gambles as a major source of entertainment, playing regularly. It’s still just a pastime, but there is greater intensity in the action. They can stop but would miss it.
The Relief-and-Escape Gambler – For this person, gambling is a major part of life (equal in importance to family and work). They can stop but with difficulty. It’s more than a pastime at this point.
The Professional Gambler – For this person, gambling is the primary source of income. They make a living from gambling and are very controlled, patiently waiting for the best bet.
The Compulsive Gambler – Gambling is the only thing in this person’s life. They ignore family and work, often turning to crime to support their habit. They are unable to stop without treatment.
The Anti-social Personality – This person’s lifetime career revolves around getting money by illegal means (trying to fix games). They can’t control their criminal personality.
According to the DSM-IV, pathological gambling is a progressive behavior disorder in which an individual has a psychologically uncontrollable preoccupation and urge to gamble, eventually compromising, disrupting or destroying the relationships, vocational pursuits and life of the gambler. Pathological gambling is classified as an impulse control disorder and 15 million people show some signs of gambling addiction. If you or someone you love needs help for a gambling addiction, contact La Paloma’s 24-hour helpline.