Gambling addiction, also referred to as compulsive gambling, is a recognised disorder. People that are afflicted with a gambling addiction cannot control their impulse to gamble, even if they know their behaviour is hurting themselves and the ones they love.
There are many interpretations of compulsive gambling. A compulsive gambler is described as a person whose gambling has caused growing and continuing problems in any area of his or her life.
Gambling addicts are constantly thinking about gambling, regardless of the consequences, their circumstances, or their own mood. Even when facing the most statistically unlikely odds to win, those suffering from a gambling addition cannot stop themselves having a bet.
There are some people, however, that are not compulsive gamblers but do fit the characteristics of a problem gambler. These types of individuals allow gambling to disrupt their lives and they often chase losses or increasingly allow gambling to take over their lives.