A Guide to Responsible & Problem Gambling

Top Books on Gambling Addiction

Below you’ll find a list of some of the top books on various aspects of gambling addiction.

The Psychology of Gambling Addiction

What’s Luck Got to Do with It?
Mathematician Joseph Mazur traces the history of gambling from the earliest known archaeological evidence of dice playing among Neolithic peoples to the first systematic mathematical studies of games of chance during the Renaissance, from government-administered lotteries to the glittering seductions of grand casinos, and on to the global economic crisis brought on by financiers’ trillion-dollar bets.

Using plenty of engaging anecdotes, Mazur explains the mathematics behind gambling–including the laws of probability, statistics, betting against expectations, and the law of large numbers–and describes the psychological and emotional factors that entice people to put their faith in winning that ever-elusive jackpot despite its mathematical improbability.

As entertaining as it is informative, What’s Luck Got to Do with It? demonstrates the pervasive nature of our belief in luck and the deceptive psychology of winning and losing.

The Addictive Personality: Understanding the Addictive Process and Compulsive Behavior

Graig Nakken presents the most recent information on how an individual becomes an addict-including cultural influences and genetic factors-as he examines addiction’s causes, stages of development, and consequences.

Books & Workbooks on Dealing with a Gambling Addiction

Taking Back Your Life: Women and Problem Gambling
Today there are more than five million women, who struggle with problem gambling in the United States alone, and this number is increasing as casinos, online card rooms, and other venues continue to multiply.

Despite this high number, those who do seek assistance often find that their experiences as women—the taboo of being female and having a gambling problem, and the social and cultural pressures specific to women—are not addressed.

In this groundbreaking book, addiction expert Diane Rae Davis, Ph.D., offers women everywhere the support they need to face this debilitating problem and take the necessary steps to regain control of their lives.

The Gambling Addiction Patient Workbook
Dr. Perkinson does an excellent job of bringing together and individualizing 12 step treatment for addicts and gamblers including identifying character defects and relapse prevention.

Willpower’s Not Enough: Recovering from Addictions of Every Kind
Many people think that what the addict needs is willpower, but nothing could be further from the truth: When a person has already lost control over a drug or activity, attempts to control its use almost never work. Because the source of addiction isn’t the drug or activity itself but a desire for a mood changer, successful recovery means ultimately changing the way we live, giving up the addictive life-style.

Willpower’s Not Enough will show you how to change your life-style and to recover from your addiction.

7 Tools to Beat Addiction
Whether you are battling drugs, nicotine, alcohol, food, shopping, sex, or gambling, 7 Tools to Beat Addiction is a hands-on, practical guide to overcoming addiction of any kind. If you or a loved one are struggling with addiction but do not find that twelve-step or other treatment programs work for you, this book can help.

In , internationally recognized expert Dr. Stanton Peele presents a program for addiction recovery based on research and clinical study and grounded in science. His program utilizes proven methods that people actually use to overcome addiction, with or without treatment.

7 Tools to Beat Addiction offers in-depth, interactive exercises that show you how to outgrow destructive habits by putting together the building blocks for a balanced, fulfilling, responsible life.

Family Resources & Interventions for a Gambling Addict

Behind the 8-Ball: A Recovery Guide for the Families of Gamblers
Written for the millions of spouses, parents, siblings, children, friends, and co-workers of compulsive gamblers who suffer from the often disastrous effects of that person’s behavior,

Behind the 8-Ball will help readers gain a greater understanding of this devastating addiction. It will also provide advice and the financial, legal information necessary to help gamblers reclaim their lives. This comprehensive work is a first step back on the path towards a happier life, free of addiction.

Love First
The top-selling book on intervention, Love First has helped tens of thousands of families, friends, and professionals create a loving and effective plan for helping those who suffer from addiction. Dispelling two damaging myths—that an addict has to hit bottom and that intervention must be confrontational—Jeff and Debra Jay’s proven approach puts love first and shows families, step by step, what to do.

When Enough is Enough: A Comprehensive Guide to Successful Intervention
The goal of an intervention is to get the person who is addicted to alcohol, to drugs, to gambling, to sex, to what have you to seek treatment-to seek treatment today. And it is remarkably effective: over 80 percent of people faced with an intervention agree to get help.

In When Enough Is Enough, Candy Finnigan offers support, advice, and hope to people who care about someone with an addiction. She acknowledges that although intervention is a powerful tool, it is a complicated process-one that absolutely must be done right.

Compelling Stories of Gambling Addiction

Never Enough: One Lawyer’s True Story of How He Gambled His Career Away
A riveting true story of how a successful lawyer spent over $1,600,000, of his client’s trust account funds on his gambling addiction and ultimately went to jail. His story is not all that unusual as many well to do lawyers are affected by a gambling disease. This book helps spot those with the disease and offers help to those afflicted with it.

She Bets Her Life: A True Story of Gambling Addiction
What sets She Bets Her Life apart is Mary Sojourner’s ability to take both an objective and a deeply personal look at the psychological and physiological impact of gambling addiction on women. Having lived it, Sojourner is brutally forthcoming, and with her penchant for research and fact-finding, the narrative is teeming with important information and resources to help steer women with gambling addictions (and their loved ones) toward help and healing.

Born to Lose: Memoirs of a Compulsive Gambler
A gambling addiction can be as destructive and as life-altering as any other addiction, and former human resources exec and Lake Tahoe regular Lee has a story to prove it. Breezily written and compelling, Lee’s book chronicles his slow descent. He starts by reminiscing about his 1950s and ’60s San Francisco childhood, about the genetic aspects of such addictions (Lee’s Chinese grandfather was sold as a young boy to pay off his own father’s gambling debts), and about Lee’s father’s struggles with gambling.

The author’s own addictions flare up when he plays the stock market (which he persuasively describes as legalized gambling), and when he needs to escape the emotional pressures of his high-stress consulting job. After falling tens of thousands of dollars into debt, Lee finally finds the strength to attend a Gambler’s Anonymous meeting, and the remainder of the book describes his difficult recovery.

As a memoir of addiction, this work is hardly as lurid as some other, more popular chronicles. What sets it apart are the details about the ways in which Lee’s Chinese heritage played into his addiction and healing, providing an unusual look at the issue.

Problem Gambling Resources

If you are someone you love has a problem with gambling, these books on gambling addiction are a good place to start. You should also visit Gamblers Anonymous to learn more about getting local support.