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450,000 Texans Have A Gambling Problem

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About 1 percent of the adult population in the U.S. has a severe gambling addiction, according to the National Center for Responsible Gaming. A 2016 Census Bureau estimate found that 2.2 percent of Texas adults are believed to have manifested a gambling problem.

The American Psychiatric Association refers to the addiction as "gambling disorder," characterized by"persistent and recurrent problematic gambling behavior" that can lead to significant impairment or distress.

Also referred to as "compulsive gambling," the condition can lead to disruption in all aspects of person's life, including family, finances and work. In 2016, approximately $5.1 billion was spent on legalized gambling in Texas.

What counts as gambling and when does it become concerning behavior? Does technology play a role in this kind of addiction?

What should you do if you suspect you or someone you love might have a gambling problem?


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Jan Ross Piedad Sakian is TPR’s News Operations Producer. In this role, she develops strategy on collaborative and digital initiatives for the station. Since 2016, Jan Ross has served in a coordinating capacity for TPR’s state and national partners, including The Texas Newsroom.