Gambling Addiction as an Individual Pathology: A Commentary

  • Amnon Jacob Suissa


Although some form of gambling has always been part of the human condition, the current enthusiasm for this kind of activity is hard for society to understand. Behaviours, once considered sins, vices, and deviances, are understood today as diseases, psychiatric pathologies characterized by feelings of a lack of control or compulsion, where abstinence is the only valid response to “eliminate” the addictions (Echeburua & Fernandez-Montalvo, 2005).

Within gambling literature, one widespread reform movement is supported on two main pillars. First, the current dominant North American discourse associates gambling with disease or pathology, which to some extent removes any responsibility from governments since gambling becomes a matter of individual weakness. Second, we see the social and institutional process of legalizing and socializing games of chance, a major instrument of ideological legitimisation for politicians, the private casino industry, and many native communities...


Problem Gambling Pathological Gambler South Oaks Gambling Screen Internet Gambling Individual Weakness 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media, Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Social Work SchoolUniversity of Quebec in MontrealMontrealCanada

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