Legality of Gambling and Problem Gambling in Pennsylvania

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Gambling In PA: Legal or Not? 

The US is among the countries where gambling is partly allowed by the law. Some of the states prohibit it, while some, oppositely, permit it. 

Gambling—both online and brick and mortar—is absolutely legal in the Keystone state. In addition, you may use this site where you can find lots of legal information about the casinos in the state.  

When it comes to the gambling legality, it is also necessary to consider the issues of problem gambling. 

Due to its legislation, Pennsylvania runs plenty of organizations that aim to provide help to the persons who find themselves in the situation of problem gambling. 

Let’s cast a glance at what the symptoms of problem gambling are and how you could mitigate those easily with no harm caused. 

Gambling Addiction Symptoms 

According to the social organizations aimed to deal with problem gambling in Pennsylvania, there are certain symptoms you may pay attention to diagnose the problem gambling, namely: 

  • Systematic participation in games, despite prevailing losses; 
  • Absorption in the game, significant time spent on participating in it; 
  • The value of the game becomes higher than family, moral values; 
  • The presence of a state of irritability, dysphoria (painfully low mood) similar to the withdrawal syndrome (withdrawal syndrome) in the period when it is impossible to exercise or reduce play activity; 
  • Personality changes of the addict (player), which are of a progressive nature. 

Experts consider the problem gambling a serious problem of the whole society, leading to the gradual degradation of the population. 

This form of addiction is referred to as a serious mental disorder accompanied by characteristic features.  

Associated signs of addiction to gambling include  

  • Emotional instability 
  • Behavioral disorders 
  • Impulsive rash actions 
  • Complete apathy for normal values ​​in life 
  • Constant search for money to participate in gambling, which leads to the appearance of large debts, loans, and some players even decide to commit serious crimes for material gain 
  • Loss of professional skills, trusting relationships with loved ones, etc.  

An addicted person regularly participates in gambling, is completely absorbed in the gaming process, loses control of time, their own behavior, rashly raises the stakes and loses every penny trying to win back.  

In the event of a win, a surge of positive emotions is observed, and if a loss occurs, it becomes irritable, angry, aggressive. 

Problem Gambling: Preventive Measures 

Preventive measures in the fight against gambling addiction In our country, prevention of gambling addiction is implemented at the state, social and family level.  

An integrated approach reduces the risks of developing gambling addiction in the society of modern people.  

In compliance with Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board, the complex of preventive measures includes:  

  • Compliance with legal norms. 
  • Ban on advertising of gambling.  
  • Control over the admission of participants to the playing areas, taking into account age, financial stability, mental state and other individual criteria.  
  • Gameplay limit. Informing the population about the severe consequences of gambling addiction—mental disorders, suicidal tendencies, complete loss of important social values, large debts, etc.  
  • Medical and rehabilitation prevention aimed at treating addiction and restoring mental health in patients who have had pathological involvement in the gambling process. 

To clearly assess the problem of gambling, one may utilize the tools suggested by PA National Council on Problem Gambling

  • DSM-5 Addictive Gambling Criteria 
  • The Brief Biosocial Gambling Screen (BBGS) 
  • DSM-5 Addictive Gambling Criteria. 

What is more, be sure to contact one of the organizations below to grab efficient help timely: 

  • Gamblers Anonymous 
  • Gam-Anon 
  • National Problem Gambling Helpline 
  • Council On Compulsive Gambling Of Pennsylvania 
  • GamTalk. 

These organizations provide free of cost help and timely let you overcome the problem before it grows into a pretty serious problem. 

Special Forms of Prevention of Problem Gambling  

In order to reduce the problem gambling and let you gamble more but successfully, prevention is carried out, classified into three main groups:  

  1. Primary prevention of gambling addiction: these measures are aimed at all segments of the population, including adolescent children from 12–14 years old. It is recommended to develop educational programs with reliable information about the consequences of gambling addiction and its implementation through educational institutions—schools, colleges, institutes, etc.  
  1. Secondary prevention is aimed at preventing the progression of gambling addiction among people who already have experience in gambling. Methods of cognitive behavioral therapy, relaxation, aversion therapy, etc. can be applied. Involvement of psychologists, psychotherapists, addictologists and other specialized specialists who can influence the consciousness of a person interested in gambling.  
  1. Tertiary prevention methods work with gambling addicts after treatment, aimed at consolidating the results and preventing repeated participation in the game processes. Such preventive measures are effectively used in specialized rehabilitation centers for people with various forms of addiction. 

Prevention of problem gambling can be considered successful if, in the course of the events held, it was possible to form in the society of listeners a positive motivation for normal social values ​​and cognitive processes, to free those who already had experience in gambling from obsessive thoughts.  

Addiction to gambling cannot be ignored. Take timely measures to prevent gambling addiction among young people, which will allow raising a generation of healthy people who do not have harmful addictions that destroy human life. 

With timely treatment, the outcome of the disease is favorable in most cases, while relapses of play activity are not uncommon.  

There are also forms of gambling addiction that are part of the structure of severe mental disorders (depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, bipolar affective disorder) and difficult to correct. 

Going through a course of treatment and recovery from gambling addiction is not all, it is necessary to maintain an independent lifestyle.  

To do this, avoid places associated with the game and memories of it, surround yourself with people who can help in a difficult moment and promote a healthy lifestyle, visit a psychologist and self-help groups, find hobbies and hobbies, at least initially transfer control over finances. 

Thus, it is possible to overcome the problem, and the PA government creates all the necessary conditions. Don’t hesitate to get your help immediately if needed. 

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