Gambling and Gaming Addiction: Beyond the One-Armed Bandit

Online Course Materials:    ArticlesArticles    AudiosVideos   ArticlesArticles   

All materials are available as audios with transcripts.

Developed by Sage de Beixedon Breslin, Ph.D.

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This course is also offered as part of a Certificate Program Addiction: From Substance Abuse & Chemical Dependency to Gambling & Internet Addiction 49 CE Credit Hours

General Course Description

There is no mistake about why so many of us refer to Las Vegas as “Lost Wages”. While initially romanticized as the playpen of the Brat Pack and a place for wealthy celebrities to throw their money down at a chance to win big, the contemporary reality of the soulless city has been reflected in films such as “Leaving Las Vegas” and “21”. There are few, if any boundaries in Vegas, Atlantic City, Hong Kong, and other gambling meccas — you can win or lose as much as you can stomach. It doesn’t matter to casino owners whether you are a professional poker player or an addict who’s embezzled corporate funds to do the deed.

This is an introductory course on gaming and gambling addiction. It consists of a short introductory video, an audiotaped interview (transcript available), 8 articles and a PowerPoint presentation. The first six documents define, describe and review the etiology, subtypes, stages, diagnostic criteria and theories associated with gambling and gaming addiction. The ways in which pathological gambling resemble other addictions are noted, and the gambler’s dry drunk syndrome is described. The articles which follow suggest ways in which public health interventions can be made to limit the potential for addiction, methods for the assessment and treatment of pathological gambling, and options for management of the gambling addict’s financial issues. Additional resources and references are provided for further study, but they are not part of the course.

Disclaimer: This course is purely educational and does not intend to serve as a license (or permission) to mental health professionals to prescribe or practice any of the approaches discussed in this course unless they fall within the scope of practice of your profession. Check with your licensing board about the scope of practice of your profession to make sure you practice within that scope.It also does not serve as a permission to title yourself in any specific way.


Educational Objectives:

    This course will teach the participant to

  • Discern which gambling or gaming behaviors constitute addiction.
  • Summarize the different forms of gambling and gaming addictions.
  • Evaluate the severity of gambling addiction.
  • Identify the gambling or gaming addiction by subtype.
  • Compare and contrast the variety of clinical interventions available for the treatment of gambling and gaming addictions.
  • Report the signs and symptoms of the gambler’s dry drunk.
  • Describe the different stages of addiction that the disordered gambler may be in.
  • Identify ways in which a treatment professional can work with a pathological gambler to better manage financial concerns.


  • Broda, A., LaPlante, D. A., Nelson, S. E., LaBrie, R. A., Bosworth, L. B., & Shaffer, H. J. (2008). Virtual harm reduction efforts for Internet gambling: effects of deposit limits on actual Internet sports gambling behavior. Harm reduction journal, 5 (1), 27.
  • Clark, L. Averbeck, B., Payer, D., Sescousse, G., Winstanley, C.A. and Xue, G. (2013). Pathological Choice: The Neuroscience of Gambling and Gambling Addiction. Journal of Neuroscience , 33 (45): 17617-17623.
  • Jiménez-Murcia, S., Fernández-Aranda, F., Granero, R., Chóliz, M., La Verde, M., Aguglia, E., & Menchón, J. M. (2014). Video game addiction in gambling disorder: Clinical, psychopathological, and personality correlates. BioMed Research International, 315062.

Course Syllabus:

  • Gambling and Gaming Addiction Defined: When does gaming become gambling?
    • Social Gambling
    • Problem Gambling
    • Pathological Gambling
    • Gambling Addiction
  • The Psychology of Gambling: Theories of Compulsive and Addictive Gambling and Gaming
    • History
      • Deviant Behavior
      • Disease Model
      • Behavior Disorder
      • Psychological Addiction
    • Etiology
      • Freud: Substitute for the sexual urge
      • Custer: Pain Avoidance Mechanism
    • Markers & Types
      • Professional Gamblers
      • Antisocial Gamblers
      • Casual Social Gamblers
      • Serious Social Gamblers
      • Relief and Escape Gamblers
      • Compulsive Gamblers
  • Assessment of Gambling and Gaming Addictions
    • Self-Help Assessment Tools
      • 20 Questions of Gamblers Anonymous
      • The South Oaks Gambling Screen (SOGS)
      • The Massachusetts Gambling Screen (MAGS)
      • Composite International Diagnostic Interview (CIDI)
    • Professional Assessment
      • Screening
      • Diagnosis with the DSM-5
      • Assessing Motivation and Readiness for Change
      • Assessing Severity of Disordered Gambling
  • Treatment Approaches for Gambling and Gaming Addictions
    • Clinical Interventions
      • Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy
      • Behavioral Therapy
      • Relapse Prevention
      • Psychodynamic Individual and Group Therapy
      • Aversion Therapy
      • 12-Step approach
      • Self-exclusion
    • Working with Gamblers and their Finances
CE Badge Created with Sketch. 8 CE

Cost: $75.00

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