New York has a range of casinos in its heartland, as well as in other locations throughout the state. But while casinos provide entertainment to many people, they can also sometimes lead to problem gambling or gambling addiction.
Problem gamblers are those who cannot control their compulsion to gamble and who spend more and more time and money at casinos and other gambling locations. It can be difficult for problem gamblers to overcome gambling addiction by themselves.
To this end, the following guide is a comprehensive breakdown of problem gambling resources in New York. It’ll also go over the signs of gambling addiction and what you should do if you think that you or someone you love may be suffering from problem gambling habits.
While it’s largely up to players to protect themselves from developing bad gambling habits, New York casinos can also protect problem gamblers when things slip out of their control.
At their core, casinos in New York and elsewhere throughout the country are entertainment venues first and foremost. They don’t want people to develop harmful gambling habits or become so addicted to gambling that they end up spending their life savings on games.
It’s immoral, for starters. But it’s also bad for business — casinos want people to have a good time at their games and come back to spend more money in the future.
Because of these joint motivations, New York casinos often implement various protective measures and provide problem gamblers with resources so they can dig themselves out of any ruts. For instance, New York casinos take the following steps:
Problematic or compulsive gambling can happen to anyone. It actually has a medical term: gambling disorder.
Once addicted to gambling, you might experience symptoms that cause you to feel that you must keep gambling no matter the consequences. This is because gambling stimulates your brain’s reward system in a way similar to drugs or alcohol. This can eventually lead to gambling addiction if you aren’t careful or if you are neurologically vulnerable to addiction due to genetics.
You might be experiencing the symptoms of compulsive gambling if you:
Note that problem gamblers can experience all or only some of these symptoms. Furthermore, experiencing one or more of these symptoms does not mean that you are beyond help. To the contrary, it means you can utilize problem gambling resources and get your life back on track starting today.
Problem gamblers can take immediate steps to help deal with gambling cravings and start working toward a better future.
Perhaps most important, problem gamblers should never feel bad about themselves if they eventually lapse and gamble when trying to quit. Addiction is one of the hardest conditions a person can face, and there’s no shame in having to attempt to quit gambling more than once.
The important thing is to maintain a positive attitude and seek out helpful problem gambling resources whenever it’s necessary.
Players aren’t in the fight against problem gambling alone. Casinos can also implement responsible gambling practices in each of their locations or as company-wide policies. These include:
New York has a lot of casinos to choose from, but it also offers a variety of resources for problem gambling treatment. Each of these resources can be helpful if you or someone you know is experiencing gambling addiction. It may be helpful to contact each organization in turn if you require assistance.
The New York Council on Problem Gambling is the local branch of the larger national council organization. It is a robust problem gambling assistance resource with several ways to help, including:
The self-help resources are great places to check if you feel uncomfortable discussing gambling addiction with anyone else. Furthermore, many of the self-help locations offer anonymity, so you don’t have to feel as though you’re compromising your identity by seeking help for gambling addiction.
Furthermore, the NYCPG provides several screening tools. Its three available problem gaming assessment tools can help you determine whether you are suffering from gambling addiction and if you need assistance from trained clinical professionals. Additional resources include:
The New York Problem Gambling Resource Center is a comprehensive collection of resource programs that you can choose from based on your region. The center provides a variety of services that can help to raise awareness of problem gambling and advocate for those who can’t do so themselves.
All of the services on the website are available free of cost, so problem gamblers don’t need to worry about being able to pay for treatment. Furthermore, the majority of the services are multilingual for English, Spanish and other language speakers. Available services and resources include:
All licensed and regulated casinos are under the oversight of the New York State Gaming Commission. This organization also provides self-exclusion forms for all licensed gambling facilities. This allows problem gamblers to self-exclude from any gambling institution, even if the casino they attend doesn’t have forms on hand.
You can fill out these forms by visiting the New York State Gaming Commission’s website. This request can then be mailed to a confidential address.
Remember, you can also self-exclude using programs available at physical casino locations. Self-exclusion is one of the best ways to limit excessive gambling and prevent yourself from continuing to indulge in harmful gambling activities.
The New York Gamblers Anonymous program is a 12-step program that compulsive gamblers can utilize to help deal with and recover from gambling addiction. There are no requirements for GA membership save for a desire to quit gambling entirely.
Gamblers Anonymous provides a safe space and social resource for problem gamblers who may need support from people who understand what they are going through. GA doesn’t have any dues or fees and is supported instead through contributions from its members.
You can learn more about the 12-step recovery program, which forms the foundation for everyone in the GA’s fellowship, by visiting their website.
Previously called the National Center for Responsible Gaming, the ICRG is a worldwide organization dedicated to helping individuals overcome gambling addiction and retake control of their lives. It’s a very detailed website that includes a wealth of research surrounding gambling addiction and problematic habits.
In addition, it provides tons of educational resources that problem gamblers and their families can use to better understand the condition of gambling addiction and determine the best route forward. Additional resources include:
The ICRG is a vital resource for those looking to learn more about problem gambling and halt its progress in their own lives.
Ultimately, players and casinos both share responsibility for mitigating the harm that problem gambling can cause. Over the years, problem gambling has affected millions of people and has caused untold suffering and pain. There’s no shame in being affecting by gambling addiction in any form.
But if you or someone you know is suffering from problem gambling habits, you’re not alone. Use the resources above to find others for support and don’t hesitate to contact any of the organizations above. They’re ready and willing to help you overcome problem gambling and recover from gambling addiction.