Take Control of Your Path

Native peoples have over twice the rate of problem gambling as the general population. Learn the steps to how you and others can gamble responsibly.

At Risk Tribal Nations
Native Americans Face Greater Risk of Becoming Problem Gamblers

Tribal casinos receive a lot of attention. What doesn’t receive as much attention is the higher incidence of problem gambling among Native Americans compared to the rest of the population.

As many as 10 million Americans live with a gambling addiction and about 4% or 4 out of every 100 students showed signs of being at risk for developing problems with gambling. 

Take a look at the resources to help educate yourself and others about how to avoid problem gambling.

Take A Step Forward
Native Americans suffer from one of the highest problem gambling rates in the United States

Washington University Professor David Patterson Silver Wolf has studied how the Native American population has a higher rate of gambling addiction than the average rate in the general population. Estimates put the problem-gambling rate among Native Americans at 2.3 percent, more than double the rate among all adults.

Native Americans have over twice the rate of problem gambling as the US sample (18 vs. 8 %) lower socioeconomic status is significantly associated with an increased odds of problem gambling for Native Americans. Counter to the hypothesis, the higher the score on the Native American orientation, the higher the odds of being a problem gambler. Further, living by the “White way of life” was associated with a decreased odds of being a problem gambler; and perceived gambling convenience was associated with an increased odds of being a problem gambler.

Gambling & Criminal Activity


of compulsive gamblers report the only crimes they commit are related to gambling.


of individuals who attend Gamblers Anonymous report engaging in illegal acts to get money for gambling.


of Gamblers Anonymous members reported writing bad checks, and approximately 30% reported stealing from work.


of gamblers assessed as having a severe problem reported engaging in illegal acts related to gambling, compared to roughly 26% assessed to have moderate severity.


had stolen to finance their gambling with a combined financial impact of theft equaling $30 million.


of compulsive gamblers are arrested seven times more frequently than non-gamblers.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is problem gambling?

Problem gambling–or gambling addiction–includes all gambling behavior patterns that compromise, disrupt or damage personal, family or vocational pursuits. The symptoms include increasing preoccupation with gambling, a need to bet more money more frequently, restlessness or irritability when attempting to stop, “chasing” losses, and loss of control manifested by continuation of the gambling behavior in spite of mounting, serious, negative consequences. In extreme cases, problem gambling can result in financial ruin, legal problems, loss of career and family, or even suicide.

What are some signs of problem gambling?
  • Hiding bills or unpaid debt
  • Exaggerating wins and minimizing losses.
  • Borrowing money to gamble
  • Preoccupied with gambling
  • Chasing losses with more gambling
What are tips for responsible gambling?
  • Set limits on time and money
  • Know risks before you bet
  • Keep gambling a social activity
  • Never borrow to play
  • Don’t chase your losses
  • Bet only what you can afford to lose
  • Gamble with money set aside for entertainment
  • Never gamble depressed or stressed
  • Avoid drinking alcohol while gambling
  • Know how the games work and the odds of winning
How do I talk to kids about problem gambling?
  • Encourage positive and social activities
  • Be a positive role model
  • Talk early about problem gambling
  • Avoid giving scratch off tickets as gifts
  • Monitor youths activities and friends
Do casinos cause problem gambling?
The cause of a gambling problem is the individual’s inability to control the gambling. This may be due in part to a person’s genetic tendency to develop addiction, their ability to cope with normal life stress and even their social upbringing and moral attitudes about gambling. The casino or lottery provides the opportunity for the person to gamble. It does not, in and of itself, create the problem any more than a liquor store would create alcohol problems.
Is problem gambling just a financial issue?

No. Problem gambling is an emotional problem that has financial consequences. If you pay all the debts of a person affected by problem gambling, the person still has a gambling problem or gambling disorder. The real issue is that they have an uncontrollable obsession with gambling.