Gambling, for many, is simply a form of entertainment or a fun weekend pastime. However, for others, it can grow into a serious issue known as problem gambling. This challenge is not just about the individual’s relationship with gambling but also involves significant financial consequences, most notably credit card debt.
A staggering 90% of individuals wrestling with problem gambling issues withdraw cash advances from their credit cards to continue their gambling habits. This statistic reveals the direct link between credit card debt and problem gambling.
An exploration of the statistics surrounding credit card debt and problem gambling paints another startling picture. A study by WalletHub revealed that a male grappling with problem gambling can accumulate an average debt of between $55,000 and $90,000, while a female can average around $15,000.
Even more concerning is the research suggesting that debt problems increase with problem gambling severity. As the frequency and time spent gambling rise, so too does the amount of money owed. This escalating cycle of debt can lead to overdrawn bank accounts, borrowing money from loan sharks, and even bankruptcy.
While online gambling companies and gambling sites provide easy access for many, they often become a catalyst for increased debt. The convenience of online gambling allows for more money to be spent, often leading to mounting credit card debt.
Getting Help for Gambling Debt
The negative consequences of problem gambling reach beyond financial implications. It can impact people’s relationships, careers, and overall quality of life. To effectively address these issues, it’s crucial for those dealing with a gambling problem to seek help.
Nonprofit credit counseling agencies can offer valuable assistance. They provide services such as debt management plans, which can help problem gamblers get their finances back on track.
Furthermore, personal loans can be used to consolidate credit card debt, turning multiple payments and interest rates into one manageable monthly payment. While this is not a solution to problem gambling, it is a step toward debt relief.
In addition to addressing the immediate financial concerns, it’s essential for those struggling to stop gambling. This step is crucial in breaking the cycle of gambling and accruing more debt.
However, the onus isn’t solely on gamblers in recovery. Online gambling companies licensed to operate should also bear some responsibility. Measures such as implementing stricter controls on gambling advertising can help reduce the exposure and temptation for problem gamblers. In addition, tactics such as self-exclusion can help mitigate the problem.
Get Help Today
The statistics linking credit card debt and problem gambling are startling. They highlight the urgent need for intervention strategies that address both the financial and behavioral aspects of problem gambling. By providing resources and support, we can help those affected break free from the cycle of gambling and debt, paving the way toward financial stability and healthier habits.
If you need help overcoming a gambling problem, 800-GAMBLER is here to help. Our toll-free, confidential helpline is open 24/7, and we also provide support through online chat. We can connect you to local resources, including Gamblers Anonymous meetings and more. Reach out to us today and make a change for the better.