When a family member has a gambling addiction it can effect the entire family unit negatively. The family member with the gambling problem creates tremendous tension within the family unit that can effect all members of the family in a variety of ways.
Children of those with a gambling addiction tend to suffer the most. In severe cases, children of those with a gambling problem are brought to the casino and are waiting on the sidelines for hours while their parents are in the casino gambling. In more extreme cases, many children are left in the car while their parents are in the casino throwing out all of their hard-earned money.
Studies have also shown that the family member with the gambling problem can also become extremely verbally, physically, and emotionally abusive due to the stress of the addiction. This can be devastating to young children and adolescents as they are trying to succeed academically and socially.
The financial ramifications for families can also be devastating as well. Money that is supposed to be used for food, gas, shelter, medical bills, and other necessities becomes unavailable as it is squandered away by the gamblers. Debt piles up very fast, and the financial future of the family becomes severely threatened.
Many families who file for bankruptcy have been the result of having a compulsive gambler in the household gambling away all of their savings and credit. It is a tragic state of affairs that leads to homelessness, despair, and worse of all suicide.
If you have a loved one who is in the grip of this horrible addiction, intervention is imperative. The first thing you can do is reach out for help. I put some resources below that can help you get started so you can help your family get on the road to recovery.