Clinical features

Gambling misuse can usually be recognized by the presence of any of the following features.

1. Concern about gambling, which is considered to be excessive either in terms of the money spent or the time devoted.

2. Intermittent or continuous preoccupation with gambling and the development of tolerance and craving for it.

3. Loss of control over gambling and 'chasing of losses', despite the realization that damage is resulting.

4. Disorder affecting the person who is gambling and the family:

a. financial disturbances, such as debt and shortage;

b. social disturbances, such as loss of employment and friends, running away from home, eviction, marital problems, divorce, behaviour disorders in the children of the family, criminality and imprisonment;

c. psychological disturbances, such as depression and attempted suicide.

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