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second series 1: gambling troubles
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Background Facts


problem gambling

• a problem gambler is someone who becomes
addicted to gambling and, as a result, hurts themselves, their family and other people

• in countries such as Great Britain, the United States, Canada, and Australia between one and five percent of the population are — or were —  problem gamblers.

• problem gamblers often have serious family problems:

- they may spend all the family money on their gambling (bankruptcy rates are much higher in areas closer to casinos)
- they may
neglect their families because they spend all their time gambling
- their gambling may cause
quarrelling in the family, and this may cause abuse

• because of their gambling, problem gamblers may suffer from guilt or anxiety

• problem gamblers may become extremely
depressed or remorseful, and, as a result they may commit suicide (around 20% of problem gamblers attempt suicide)

• problem gamblers may steal money from family members or their employers in order to pay for their gambling — and sometimes they go to jail

- in Atlantic City in the US three years after the first casinos were opened, there was three times as much crime in the city has there had been before
- because of the high levels of murder, rape, robbery and assault the state of Nevada, which is the center of gambling in the US, is the most dangerous place in the country.

• because of their gambling, problem gamblers may also have problems with alcohol or drugs

• many scientists believe that problem gamblers have a
physical addiction to gambling. In other words, they believe that gamblers can be addicted to gambling in the same way that drug addicts and alcoholics are addicted to drugs and liquor.

They believe that, because of their gambling, problem gamblers have chemicals in their brains that ordinary people do not have. And, because their brains have been affected in this way, it is impossible or very difficult for problem gamblers to stop gambling. If they do stop, like drug addicts or alcoholics who stop, they suffer from 'withdrawal.' In other words, they feel
mentally or physically bad for a long time because they are not gambling.







someone is 'addicted' to an activity like gambling if they like it or need it so much that they cannot stop doing it [noun: 'addict,' adjective: 'addictive']

• the 'population' of a country is the people who live in it

• 'bankruptcy' means having no money [adjective: 'bankrupt']. The 'bankruptcy rate' is the percentage of the population that is bankrupt.

• if you 'neglect' something, you do not look after it properly (or spend enough time with it)

'quarrelling' means fighting — usually with words only ['quarrel' is a noun and a verb]

• if you 'abuse' someone you treat them badly (hurt them or cause them to suffer in some way)

•'guilt' is the feeling of being unhappy or sad because you have done something wrong [adjective: 'guilty']

• a 'depressed' person always feels sad (feels there is no reason for living, doesn't enjoy anything) [noun: 'depression']

• someone who feels 'remorseful' feels bad because of something wrong they did in the past [noun: 'remorse']

•'attempt suicide' means to try to kill yourself

•a 'casino' is a place where people can gamble

• 'rape' = forced sex ['rape' is also a verb]

• 'robbery' the noun form of the verb 'rob'['rob' has a similar meaning to 'steal' but it takes the person or place from which something was stolen as its object]

• 'assault' = 'attack'

• 'physical' here means 'coming from the body' (as opposed to 'mental', or 'coming from the mind')

•'withdrawal' is the noun form of the verb 'withdraw' (withdrawing money from the bank is taking money out of the bank; here the drug or habit is being 'taken out of' the addict)

'mentally' +'in the mind'