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Gamblers Anonymous
Address: P.O. Box 17173 Los Angeles, CA 90017
Phone: (213) 386-8789
Fax: (213) 386-0030

History of Gamblers Anonymous

The fellowship of Gamblers Anonymous is the outgrowth of a chance meeting between two men during the month of January in 1957. These men had a truly baffling history of trouble and misery due to an obsession to gamble. They began to meet regularly and as the months passed neither had returned to gambling.

They concluded from their discussions that in order to prevent a relapse it was necessary to bring about certain character changes within themselves. In order to accomplish this, they used for a guide certain spiritual principles which had been utilized by thousands of people who were recovering from other compulsive addictions. The word spiritual can be said to describe those characteristics of the human mind that represent the highest and finest qualities such as kindness, generosity, honesty and humility. Also, in order to maintain their own abstinence they felt that it was vitally important that they carry the message of hope to other compulsive gamblers.

As a result of favorable publicity by a prominent newspaper columnist and TV commentator, the first group meeting of Gamblers Anonymous was held on Friday, September 13, 1957, in Los Angeles, California. Since that time, the fellowship has grown steadily and groups are flourishing throughout the world.

20 Questions:

1. Did you ever lose time from work or school due to gambling?
2. Has gambling ever made your home life unhappy?
3. Did gambling affect your reputation?
4. Have you ever felt remorse after gambling?
5. Did you ever gamble to get money with which to pay debts or otherwise solve financial difficulties?
6. Did gambling cause a decrease in your ambition or efficiency?
7. After losing did you feel you must return as soon as possible and win back your losses?
8. After a win did you have a strong urge to return and win more?
9. Did you often gamble until your last dollar was gone?
10. Did you ever borrow to finance your gambling?
11. Have you ever sold anything to finance gambling?
12. Were you reluctant to use "gambling money" for normal expenditures?
13. Did gambling make you careless of the welfare of yourself or your family?
14. Did you ever gamble longer than you had planned?
15. Have you ever gambled to escape worry, trouble, boredom or loneliness?
16. Have you ever committed, or considered committing, an illegal act to finance gambling?
17. Did gambling cause you to have difficulty in sleeping?
18. Do arguments, disappointments or frustrations create within you an urge to gamble?
19. Did you ever have an urge to celebrate any good fortune by a few hours of gambling?
20. Have you ever considered self destruction or suicide as a result of your gambling?

Most compulsive gamblers will answer yes to at least seven of these questions.
If you feel that you, a family member or friend is in need of help,
please contact Gamblers Anonymous.

National Council on Problem Gambling
Address: 730 11th St, NW, Ste 601 Washington, DC 20001
Phone: 202-547-9204
Fax: 202-547-9206
Problem Gamblers and their Finances: A Guide for Treatment Professionals - download

The National Council on Problem Gambling is the national advocate for programs and services to assist problem gamblers and their families. The mission of the NCPG is to increase public awareness of pathological gambling, ensure the widespread availability of treatment for problem gamblers and their families, and to encourage research and programs for prevention and education.

The National Council is neither for nor against legalized gambling. Our primary concern is to help problem gamblers and their families.

The NCPG was conceived as the national representative of the problem gambling field and is organized with 3 classes of members: state affiliate, corporate and individual. The NCPG concentrates efforts on the national level, while the state affiliates work at the state and local level.

Major National Council programs include:

* Operation of the National Problem Gambling Helpline Network (800-522-4700). A    single national access point to local resources.
* Administration of the National Certified Gambling Counselor (NCGC) credential.
* Holding the annual National Conference on the Prevention, Treatment, Research and    Recovery of Problem Gambling. The world’s oldest and largest problem gambling-
  specific conference.
* Distribution of literature on problem gambling treatment, research and recovery.
* Organization of National Problem Gambling Awareness Week.
* Providing education on problem gambling issues to Federal, state, tribal and    international governments and agencies.

History: The organization was founded in 1972 by Msgr. Joseph A. Dunne and Dr. Robert Custer, among others. From the outset the Council established two principles that remain in effect today: that the organization would be the advocate for problem gamblers and their families, and that it would take no position for or against legalized gambling. This stance is encompassed today in our vision and mission statements above. A history of the NCPG from 1972 to 1985 by Msgr. Dunne was published in the Journal of Gambling Studies, Vol. 1, Issue 1.

The National Council on Problem Gambling has developed this list as a starting point for those seeking help or information about gambling problems. Problem gambling is a rare but chronic mental disorder and is treatable. But without help, a gambling problem may get worse. The information compiled below by NCPG is intended to be a starting point for individuals to learn more about problem gambling -- it is not a complete list of information or services. We encourage you to ask questions, gather information and conduct research on the type of help that is most appropriate for your situation.


Alabama Hawaii Massachusetts New Mexico South Dakota
Alaska Idaho Michigan New York Tennessee
Arizona Illinois Minnesota North Carolina Texas
Arkansas Indiana Mississippi North Dakota Utah
California Iowa Missouri Ohio Vermont
Colorado Kansas Montana Oklahoma Virginia
Connecticut Kentucky Nebraska Oregon Washington
Delaware Louisiana Nevada Pennsylvania West Virginia
Florida Maine New Hampshire Rhode Island Wisconsin
Georgia Maryland New Jersey South Carolina Wyoming



Gam-Anon® International Service Office, Inc.
Address: P.O. Box 157 Whitestone, NY 11357
Phone: 718-352-1671
Fax: 718-746-2571

We are here to assist you in resolving the problems you are facing in your life due to the gambling problem.

We have various sources of literature available to you which can be helpful in your quest for information about the compulsive gambling illness and how to cope with the various crises that come up due to the gambling syndrome.

Gam-Anon is dedicated to the creation and preservation of serenity in our lives. What this means to you is that the Gam-Anon meeting is designed to be a safe place to bring your current situation. You can put it on the table, look at it, cry about it, laugh about it, be angry at it, or whatever you are wanting to do with it.
Hopefully, by the end of the meeting you have been able to unburden yourself of the problem for a short while and be able to go home and face your situation with a new perspective.

None of our members are here to give you specific advice which you should take as gospel. And we cannot dilute our principles to a point where we perform as marriage counselors, psychologists, members of the clergy, vocational guidance specialists or as a representative of the legal profession. We are here as we have a common denominator in our lives: we are in relationships with compulsive gamblers.

Because of this common denominator, we are more readily able to understand your problems than your family, friends, counselor, or advisor. We can listen to your problems with an empathetic, not a sympathetic or critical ear. You can rest assured that no one in our meeting will tell you that what you are doing is bad. We will only offer our experience in similar matters, giving you a new approach to consider in your situation.

Our goal in the Gam-Anon meeting is to provide new insight into what can be a devastating problem in many people’s lives. With the guidelines of the Gam-Anon program we can provide a wealth of information about practical safeguards you can choose to take when first coming into the program.

Above all, remember that all people change. The problems that you are facing today will be different tomorrow, next month, next year. Try to put matters in perspective for today, Don’t feel compelled to make decisions that are forever; rather, make choices for today. Choices are always open for review and change.

In all things, remember that Gam-Anon is your support system. No one can make it work for you but you. We can only be there to support you when you reach out for us.

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