By Staff Writer
Gambling addiction is a growing problem in America that annually results in the loss of billions of dollars for affected individuals. However, despite the problem, experts say that it remains largely unrecognized and under-diagnosed in the medical community.
In particular, the number of internet gamblers has skyrocketed in recent years. A University of California, Los Angeles researcher who runs a gambling addiction clinic told the San Francisco Examiner that between 30 and 40 percent of the patients he treats have problems with internet betting. This is a significant increase over years past.
He said that the state of California receives anywhere from $9 billion to $10 billion in revenue each year from gambling. While this benefits the state’s bottom line, it also creates a major public health concern, as most of the people affected by gambling addiction are low-income.
Rehab facilities are among the most effective ways of ending destructive habits. Otherwise, gambling addiction can progress similarly to chemical dependencies and ruin lives, according to the National Council on Problem Gambling.