What is gambling?

Gambling can be defined as betting something of value when the outcome is uncertain. Gambling occurs in many forms, most commonly are: lotteries, casinos (slot machines, table games), bookmaking (sports books and horse books), card rooms, bingo, and pari-mutuels (horse and dog tracks, off-track-betting, Jai Alai). Pathological or Compulsive Gambling is identified as an impulse control disorder and has features similar to other addictive disorders, without involving the use of an intoxicating drug.

What are the warning signs of pathological gambling?

Gamblers' Anonymous asks its new members twenty questions:
• Did you ever lose time from work due to gambling?
• Has gambling ever made your home life unhappy?
• Did gambling affect your reputation?
• Have you ever felt remorse after gambling?
• Did you ever gamble to get money in which to pay debts or otherwise solve financial difficulties?
• Did gambling cause a decrease in your ambition or efficiency?
• After losing, did you feel you must return as soon as possible to win back your losses?
• After a win, did you have a strong urge to return and win more?
• Did you often gamble until your last dollar was gone?
• Did you ever borrow to finance your gambling?
• Have you ever sold anything to finance your gambling?
• Were you reluctant to use "gambling money" for normal expenditures?
• Did gambling make you careless of the welfare of yourself and your family?
• Did you ever gamble longer than you planned?
• Have you ever gambled to escape worry our trouble?
• Have you ever committed or considered committing an illegal act to finance gambling?
• Did gambling cause you to have difficulty in sleeping?
• Do arguments, disappointments, or frustrations create within you an urge to gamble?
• Did you ever have an urge to celebrate any good fortune by a few hours of gambling?
• Have you ever considered self-destruction as a result of your gambling?
Pathological gamblers usually answer yes to at least 7 of these questions.
What are the effects of pathological gambling?

Pathological gambling affects the gambler, their family, their employer, and the community. As the gambler goes through the phases of their addiction, they spend less time with their family, spend more of the family's money on gambling until the bank accounts are depleted, and then may steal money from family members. At work, the pathological gambler misuses time in order to gamble, has difficulty concentrating and finishing projects, may show abnormal mood swings, and may engage in embezzlement, employee theft, or other illegal activities. The gambler, in desperation, may experience hopelessness, suicide thoughts and attempts, arrests, divorce, alcohol and/or other drug abuse, or an emotional breakdown.

Teen Gambling
Research suggests that children of compulsive gamblers are prone to suffer abuse or neglect and have higher rates of pathological gambling themselves. One study found that 53% of students surveyed had gambled in the last year and 7% reported significant gambling problems. Unlike drugs or alcohol, teenagers can hide a problem with gambling because there are no physical indications of "use". Teenagers are often exposed to gambling at a very young age and introduced to gambling at home through card games or lotteries their family members play. Similar to chemical use, teenagers enjoy the "high" or the thrill of gambling, which can quickly develop into an addiction. Teens with a gambling problem will have the same warning signs but will often show negative effects in areas of home (i.e. arguments) or school (i.e. poor grades, change of friends). Other warning signs include unexplained amounts of money, philanthropic behavior, missing items of value, or carrying around dice or cards.

Problem Gambling Treatment Programs in NYS

Problem Gambling Services

• Baywood Center / 820 River Street Inc.
Leo Guariglia, Regional Director
551 Bay Road
Queensbury, New York 12084
Phone: (518) 798-4221
Fax: (518) 798-4255

• Council on Addictions Recovery Services, Inc. (CARES)
Laura Elliott-Engel, MA, CASAC, Executive Director
P.O. Box 567
201 South Union Street
Olean, NY 14760
Phone: (716) 373-4303
Fax: (716) 373-4327

• Chautauqua County Department of Mental Hygiene
Patricia Brinkman, Director of Mental Hygiene
Marcia Kieffer, LCSW,CASAC
319 Central Avenue
Dunkirk, New York 14048
Phone: (716) 363-3694

• The Center for Problem Gambling
Family and Children's Service of the Capital Region, Inc.
Matt Aiken
650 Warren Street
Albany, NY 12208
Phone: (518) 462-6531
Fax: (518) 462-0181

• Columbia Gambling Disorders Clinic
Dr. Carlos Blanco
1051 Riverside Drive
New York, NY 10032
Phone: (212) 543-6690
Fax: (212) 543-6515

• Community Counseling Services of West Nassau, Inc.
Sal LaFemina, Executive Director
1200A Hempstead Turnpike
Franklin Square, NY 11010
Phone: (516) 328-1717
Fax: (516) 328-1627

• Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse of Sullivan County Inc. - Recovery Center
Izetta Briggs-Bolling, Chief Executive Officer
11 Hamilton Avenue
Monticello, NY 12701
Phone: (845) 794-8080, ext. 115
Fax: (845) 794-1716

• County of Oswego Council on Alcoholism and Addictions, Inc.
Deborah Bills, Executive Director
53 E. Third Street
Oswego, New York 13126
Phone: (315) 342-2370
Fax: (315) 342-7570

• Fulton County Mental Health Addiction Services
William Doran
73 N. Main Street
Gloversville, New York 12078
Phone: (518) 773-3532

• Gamblers Treatment Center
Richmond University Medical Center
Beth Schwartz, Program Director
75 Vanderbilt Ave., Room 102A
Staten Island, NY 10304
Phone: (718) 876-2552
Fax: (718) 876-7114
Services in Richmond & Queens

• Gambling Recovery Program
Jewish Family Service of Buffalo
Donna Possenti, Program Director
70 Barker Street
Buffalo, NY 14209
Phone: (716) 883-1914
Toll free: (800) 213-2304
Fax: (716) 883-7637
Services in Erie and Niagara Counties

• Genesee Co. Alcohol Substance Abuse - Genesee County
John Bennett
430 E. Main Street
Batavia, NY 14020
Phone: (585) 343-1124

• Genesee Co. Alcohol Substance Abuse - Orleans County
John Bennett
PO Box 438 West Avenue
Albion, New York 14411
Phone: (585) 815-1849

• Hamilton Madison House
JJ Hung
253 South Street, 2nd Floor
New York, New York 10002
Phone: (212) 720-4520

• Hudson Mohawk Recovery Center
Mary Delory, Director of Outpatient Services
743 Columbia Turnpike
East Greenbush, New York 12061
Phone: (518) 477-7535

• Insight House
Cheryl Spina
Clinical Director, CASAC w/Gambling Specialty
500 Whitesboro Street
Utica, NY 13502
Phone: (315) 724 5168
Fax: (315) 724-6582

• Lexington Center for Recovery, Inc.
Barbara Tabala, Director
Suite L-1, 100 Route 59
Airmont, New York 10952
Phone: (845) 369-9701
Fax: (845) 369-9704

• Long Beach Medical Center
Patricia Hincken, Director
455 East Bay Drive
Long Beach, New York 11561
Phone: (516) 897-1250

• North Star Behavioral Chemical Dependency Services
Beth LaCourse
209 Park Street
PO Box 608
Malone, NY 12953
Phone: (518) 483 8980
Fax: (518) 483-4830

• Pederson Krag Center, GamPro
Mary Silberstein, Program Director
55 Horizon Drive
Huntington, NY 11743
Phone: (631) 920-8053
Fax: (631) 920-8162

• Port Counseling Center, Inc.
Agnes Lasetchuk, Executive Director
225 Main Street
Port Washington, New York 11050
Phone: (516) 767-1133
Fax: (516) 767-3680

• Problem Gamblers Recovery Program
Frank Limone, CSW
466 Main St
New Rochelle, NY 10801
Phone: (914) 632 6433, ext. 11
Fax: (914) 381-0588

• St. Joseph's Addiction Treatment & Recovery Center
Bud Ziolkowski, Outpatient Services Director
50 Montcalm Street
Ticonderoga, New York 12833
Phone: (518) 891-3950
Fax: (518) 891-5507

• SAFE Foundation
Ike Dweck
PO Box 230060
Brooklyn, New York 11223
Phone: 866-569-7233 ext. 32
Fax: (718) 336-2947

• Schoharie County Chemical Dependency Clinic
Bonnie Post
113 Park Place, Suite 1
Schoharie, New York 12157
Phone: (518) 295-2031

• Syracuse Brick House D/B/A Syracuse
Behavioral Health Care
Kathi Meadows
847 James Street, Suite 1411
Syracuse, NY 13203
Phone: (315) 471-1564 ext. 126
Fax: (315) 471-2531