Handbook of evidence-based practice in clinical psychology, Vol 2: Adult disorders

Abstract

(from the chapter) Many people take risks of one sort or another each and every day of their lives. Often times these risks involve driving faster than the speed limit, making poor diet choices, or betting a few dollars on the night's lottery. When seemingly irrelevant and benign choices begin to accumulate into patterns of behavior that alter an individual's quality of life, it may be possible a problem or pathology has developed. Gambling, an activity that most individuals have engaged in during their lifetime, is a growing cultural issue. Once thought of as a taboo activity that drew images of mobsters and the Las Vegas strip, gambling is now available almost everywhere across the United States. Thirty years ago only two states in the country allowed any legalized form of gambling. Today that statistic has reversed. Gambling is now legal in 48 out of 50 states (Black & Moyer, 1998), all except for Utah and Hawaii, and Internet access allows residents anywhere an opportunity to wager. With such a rise in accessibility to gambling, a drastic increase in revenue has occurred. From 1999 to 2007, the amount of total gross gaming revenue in the United States nearly doubled from $58 billion to $92 billion (American Gaming Association, 2009).

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