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The Effect of Gambling on Families
Sam Carter 10/09/2019 06:29 AM CST

About the author: Samuel Carter is a prominent essayist, dissertation and research paper writer, currently working at Reading and writing are his passions and his job at writing company gives him a space to share his writing experience. Except for his job, Samuel has such hobbies as swimming, diving, and comics. His biggest dream is to become a world-famous writer.


Nowadays, the contemporary world suffers from different kinds of problems, namely drug and alcohol obsession, increasing delinquency, and addiction to the Internet. Apart from that, gambling is another type of addiction that has deeply ingrained in the human mentality. Many people cannot imagine their lives without games. They spend days and even weeks playing and spending money. Consequently, it leads to various problems, namely mental and physical disorders as well as divorce and home violence. Most of the gamblers are ready to sacrifice a lot in order to achieve the desirable goal. They even steal money from home leaving their children hungry. Therefore, gambling has become one of the main concerns in the modern psychology. Accordingly, many scientists investigate it in every aspect. The main objective of the paper is to provide general characteristics of gambling and determine its influence on families.

General Characteristics

Gambling is considered to be one of the most common disorders in the contemporary world. An addicted person totally depends on a chance. He/she always sticks to the point that sooner or later he/she will win an enormous amount of money. That is why the addicted one spends a lot of money in order to win. In fact, there are different kinds of gambling, namely casino, bingo, keno, slot machines, card games, and internet gambling. Each type of gambling has its peculiarities and characteristics. Some of them are less harmful, while others can totally destroy the life of the addicted.

The most popular kind of gambling is card games. Nowadays, everyone can play card games. Initially, it was a kind of entertainment, but now it is a type of addiction. More and more people have started playing cards for money. The problem is that, when once tried, it is difficult to stop. Every time when an individual loses, he/she wants to replay and starts giving money. It is an endless process of spending money. Consequently, it can lead to various problems. The main problem can be a mental disorder. Gamblers can spend hours playing without any brake. It may cause not only mental disorders but also physical ones, such as a problem with a digestion system, poor sight, and heart illness.

Nevertheless, there is an assumption that gambling is a pathological problem. The pathological gambling causes an inappropriate behavior, namely an individual commits a crime and destroys relationships with family and friends respectively. If to try to understand the root of the mentioned disorder, it could be concluded that it is connected with an inadequate self-control. Gamblers cannot control their desires and needs. They cannot stop at all. On the one hand, it seems that it is not a very serious disorder. The only treatment can be teaching the self-control. On the other hand, it is extremely difficult to force someone to do something. Consequently, lots of individuals suffer from disability to control personal emotions as well as desires. As a result, all that influences their relationship with relatives and friends.

The Impact of Gambling on the Family Environments

It is an absolutely true fact that families of gamblers suffer greatly from this addiction. The reason is quite obvious: when a gambler tries to win, he/she can forget about the family values and sell valuable things or just take money from the family budget. Moreover, the problem of gambling can be hidden for a certain period of time, so the members of the family can be horrified when they realize how much money has been spent. Many families do not survive under the influence of gambling. Others try to struggle with the problem finding appropriate solutions. Some families can overcome the problem, but it usually takes a lot of time. Nevertheless, when a couple or a family on the whole tries to tackle the problem together, the desirable result comes faster. The families can be effected in various ways.

One of the most significant aspects of the family life is financial stability. Consequently, without stability, it is quite vulnerable. The problem of gambling influences it in every aspect. Families affected by gambling start noticing a shortage of the budget and financial instability. It is an absolutely true fact that the loss of savings, belongings as well as property can cause many conflicts in the family. The family starts becoming more vulnerable to various external factors, which can lead to the divorce. One more important issue is that, if there are children in the family that need lasting financial support, it will be difficult to cope with any kind of financial problems. The shortage of money can lead to serious consequences, even the fatal ones.

The second aspect that can be influenced is the emotional health of a family. The family can feel disappointed and hurt under the influence of the gambling problem. The lasting arguing can cause mental and emotional disorders in the family. Moreover, the gambling can lead to isolation. It is also one of the horrible problems in the family. An addicted person becomes strict and is sometimes afraid to communicate with people. Not everyone could resist the outbreak of anger. Consequently, it can lead to depression, which in its turn can cause some fatal diseases. Sooner or later gambling influences the future of the family. Furthermore, almost every family suffers from emotional burnout since living in a stressful surrounding makes it difficult to cope with negative emotions. Under such circumstances, families of the addicted gradually set apart.

Gambling has a huge impact on children. Basically, children feel forgotten and unprotected when one of the parents suffers from gambling. Moreover, an addicted parent is not able to provide appropriate help and support to children. His/her main concern is money not children. The children of people with gambling problems are exposed to a range of family stressors, including financial and emotional deprivation, physical isolation, inconsistent discipline, parental neglect/abuse and rejection, poor role modelling, family conflict, and reduced security and stability. Consequently, children start living on their own. They can join various gangs even criminal ones. They may try alcohol as well as drugs. Furthermore, they may leave homes without allowance or announcement. They get used to such a way of life. There is no future for such children. According to the Australian survey, the children of problem gambling parents are also at risk of developing gambling problems themselves. The children who have parents with the mentioned problem are also likely to become gamblers in the future. It is quite obvious as most children try to follow their parents’ example.

One more important issue that should be analyzed is a connection between gambling and home violence. There is an assumption that gambling is related with intimate violence. In fact, people who suffer from gambling are more aggressive than those who do not. According to the World Health Organization, the intimate violence is any kind of behavior that causes physical, sexual or psychological pressure. It can consist of physical, sexual, and emotional abuse and controlling behaviours. Moreover, in accordance with statistics, over one-third of people with gambling problems report being the victims of physical IPV (38%) or the perpetrators of IPV (37%). Moreover, 11% of offenders of IPV report gambling problems. That is to say that a gambler is vulnerable to the aggressive actions that can cause harm in the family.

Possible Solutions

Considering the abovementioned, one may admit that certain actions should be taken in order to cope with such type of addiction. Firstly, the problem of gambling should be regarded as a government affair. In such a way it will be easy to find relevant approaches to it. The government should ban any type of gambling. People should be aware that gambling leads to the decline of families as well as society. Secondly, children should be taught about all possible consequences of gambling at schools. Teachers have to provide classes during which the profound information about gambling addiction problems is presented. Thirdly, families themselves should prevent the appearance of gambling disorders. If any member of a family notices a weird behavior of another family member, which causes a lack of money and arguing, he/she should find the root of the problem. If the reason of such behavior is gambling addiction, all family members have to make everything possible to reduce the problem. A stress-strain-coping-support is the main tool in the battle against gambling. This strategy deals with trying to change the excessive gambling by using emotional and controlling strategies, such as starting arguments about gambling, becoming moody, and making threats and ultimatums.

All in all, gambling is considered to be one of the most common problems in the contemporary world. It has deeply ingrained in the modern culture. Due to a rapid development of society, different new kinds of gambling appeared, among which are card gambling, casino, and internet gambling. This kind of addiction has an enormous impact on society on the whole as well as on individual families. Consequently, gambling can influence various aspects of the family life. The first aspect is money. When an individual becomes addicted, he/she takes money from the family budget. It leads to a money shortage and financial instability of the family. The second aspect is mental health. The family in which one of the partners is a gambler is not stable at all. Constant arguing due to gambling can lead to the development of various mental diseases. Moreover, children suffer the most. They notice the mentioned problem and try to escape it in different negative ways. Some children become isolated. This the worst effect of gambling. Isolation leads to depression and even to fatal diseases. The third aspect is the connection between gambling and home violence. The addicted families are vulnerable to the cruelty as well as violence. Thus, the problem of gambling is serious and some actions have to be taken in order to overcome it.


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