Watch CBS News

Study finds only 1 in 5 people with gambling problem seek help

MIAMI – A new study finds more than 10 million adults have tried to get help for addiction to gambling – globally, around one in every 400 – and the problem has become a worldwide public health concern. 

The research in the scientific journal "Addiction" looked at dozens of studies over the past decade. Findings show that when it comes to moderate-risk gamblers, one in 25 reach out for help. But among those who have a gambling problem, one in five seek help.

In the United States, the National Council on Problem Gambling estimates 2-million adults have a gambling addiction. And another 4 to 6 million are considered to have mild or moderate gambling problems. Approximately 85% of adults have gambled at least once in their lives, 60% in the past year.

With sports betting now legal in about 35 states, the National Problem Gambling Helpline Network says last year it experienced a 45% jump in calls from the year prior. 

Experts say a person should seek help if they feel the need to be secretive about their gambling, have trouble controlling their gambling and can't walk away, they gamble even when they don't have the money, or if family or friends are worried.  

There is a wide array of treatment options for gambling addiction, including professional and non-professional treatment, along with self-help. 

Some form of gambling is legal in 48 states and the District of Columbia. Only Hawaii and Utah have completely outlawed gambling of any kind.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.