In an earlier blog post, we discussed online gambling and bankruptcy. At the time, pandemic-related lockdowns drove the growth of online gambling options. With restrictions easing more and more each day, there is a resurgence in in-person gambling, at establishments such as casinos and OTBs.

Don’t Bet Against The House

The last few years have been difficult in so many ways, not the least of which is the financial aspect. So many people became unemployed or underemployed seemingly overnight. The US government passed a stimulus package to help families and try to inject more capital into the economy. And now? Now we are facing historically high gas prices and rising inflation across the board, with a recession predicted on the horizon. Some people are getting “creative” as they try to bridge the gap in their budgets; some people become downright desperate.

Inevitably, some people facing financial hardship turn to gambling as a solution.

To say casino gambling is a lucrative business would be an understatement. In 2020, commercial casino gaming revenue amounted to about $30 billion, a nearly 30% decline from 2019 due to the COVID-19 pandemic after a seven-year period of steady year-over-year growth. –Investopedia

So, don’t bet against the house because the casino always wins; gambling isn’t the solution. And it isn’t just casinos. Some people turn to off-track horse betting, while others may try their hand at scratch-offs or other state lottery products. No, the greater issue is the underlying psychology of addiction as it relates to gambling. Winning triggers the reward system, thereby releasing dopamine and fostering feelings of pleasure. Who doesn’t like to feel good and experience pleasure? The person keeps playing, keeps gambling, seeking that next jackpot. Eventually, we build a tolerance for dopamine and we will require greater and greater interactions, in terms of both time and risk. And an addiction is born.

The Money Pit

Once addiction has taken hold in the brain, gamblers become increasingly desperate to fund their pursuits. Some rack up credit card debt while others may apply for loans or second mortgages, or borrow from friends or relatives or, worse, loan sharks. But do not despair. If you’re reading this, you’re already researching ways in which to get help. Gambling may be a problem, and bankruptcy can be a solution.

Contact my offices today to schedule a consultation and discuss your options and achieve financial well-being.

If you or a loved one has a gambling addiction, please visit the Council on Compulsive Gambling of New Jersey, Inc. or call 1-800-GAMBLER.