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NCJ Number
Polygraph Volume: 22 Issue: 1 Dated: (1993) Pages: 80-119
R J Heuer Jr
Date Published
40 pages
Compulsive gambling is a factor to consider in the approval or denial of security clearances and in personnel evaluation, especially since about two-thirds of Gamblers Anonymous members and patients being treated for compulsive gambling admit to engaging in criminal behavior or civil fraud to finance their gambling or repay gambling-related debts.
Compulsive gambling refers to an uncontrollable preoccupation with gambling and an inability to stop gambling even when the individual recognizes that gambling is causing serious financial, family, work, or other problems. Like other addictive behaviors, compulsive gambling is treatable; addiction treatment centers find a close relationship among alcohol abuse, drug abuse, and gambling. Further, pathological (compulsive) gambling is now recognized as a mental illness by the American Psychiatric Association. Compulsive gamblers generally use legal sources of funding for as long as possible. As gambling losses intensify, compulsive gamblers may turn to illegal activities. Gambling debts, for example, have played a significant role in several espionage cases. Behavioral aspects of compulsive gambling are examined, as well as theories on why individuals become addicted to gambling. Consideration is given to gambling as a growth industry, general characteristics of gamblers, the prevalence of gambling, and indicators of compulsive gambling. 87 references and 9 tables