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Can Problem Gambling Lead to Child Neglect?

During an active addiction, priorities can go askew. Once an individual is introduced to a vice of their liking, the people, places, and things that were once of the utmost important are often rearranged to rank lower on the list. Whether it is alcohol, drugs, or gambling, this shift can impact many aspects of an addict’s life.


Now back to the question. Can disordered gambling lead to maltreatment of children?


Unfortunately, the answer is yes. Although it is not intentional, emotional and physical abuse can be a byproduct of problem gambling. Here are some examples of situations that occur:


  • Sometimes gamblers put all of their focus on the task at hand (making wagers in an attempt to win money). From poker and blackjack to eSports and sports betting, participants can experience a sort of tunnel vision or brown out where their attention is solely on the game they are playing. This can lead to neglecting the kids that they were entrusted to supervise and protect. Children can be left unattended at:
    • Home
    • Casinos
    • Race Tracks
    • Sporting Events
    • In a Vehicle
  • Offspring of gambling addicts can also be negatively impacted by missing appointments that are essential to a child’s overall well-being. These missed engagements can include school, doctors, places of worship, parties, and other events. Missing a doctor visit can be detrimental to the child’s health, and missing class can stunt their social and educational development. Since casinos strategically avoid displaying the time, gamblers can frequently lose track of how much time they have been playing.
  • Issues that can be caused by neglect include fear of abandonment, loss of trust, feeling guilty, and even depression. These emotional issues can become physically tolling if they are severe enough. Help is available for problem gamblers by utilizing the 1-800-GAMBLER confidential hotline. The phone number is available 24/7 and also has a texting option.
  • Financial distress can also impact the immediate family of gamblers. Losing money can lead to losing possessions as large as cars and houses. Also, it can lead to the inability to purchase school books or to pay crucial bills like gas, electric, and water. To get a complete list of resources and brochures, you can visit today.


If you see children being affected by any addiction, take action. From assisting with teenage gambling in Atlantic City to helping adults with a gambling addiction in Freehold, NJ, the Council on Compulsive Gambling of NJ is here to lend a hand.


To find the right approach, you can consult one of our experts by calling our hotline or visiting our website. Also, there are Gamblers Anonymous meetings available seven days a week in New Jersey, as well as all over the United States. Remember, there is a solution. Friends, family, and loved ones can all be part of helping an individual in need.