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Retirement is a time to have fun after a lifetime of responsibility and work. For many retirees gambling is an exciting form of recreation. To most, it is simply recreation - a fun activity to do with friends. But for some, it can become a progressive disease.

About 1 percent of all adults experience serious problems due to their gambling activities. Retired problem gamblers may suffer more severe consequences because they may not have the ability go recover financially.

Do you or someone you know:

> Chase losses - gambling in an attempt to make up losses;
> Gamble as a means to cope - to escape worries, frustrations or disappointments;
> Neglect personal needs, such as food, utilities or medical assistance;
> Lack the ability to meet living expenses previously met;
> Withdraw from friends and family;
> Use gambling as a primary form of recreation or socialization;
> Have decreasing financial reserves;
> Make no effort to develop new friendships/interests after moving to a new or different residence;
> Summer from depression or a decline in health with no apparent reason.

Educate yourself on the warning signs of compulsive gambling so you don't fall victim to family and friends who have developed an addiction.

If you suspect someone you love has developed a gambling problem, follow these guidelines:

1. Understand that giving or loaning them money for any reason enables their addiction;
2. Let them face the consequences of their destructive behavior and seek help for yourself;
3. Free counseling is available to Missouri residents who have a gambling problem or are the loved one of a problem gambler.

If you believe you or someone you love has a gambling problem, free help is available:

>1-888-BETSOFF (1-888-238-7633)


>Free treatment for Missouri residents

>Voluntary Exclusion Program

>Individual exclusion programs available at many casino properties

Be responsible. If you sponsor group trips to gambling locations or have charity fundraisers involving gambling activities, educate your group.

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Created by the Missouri Lottery in cooperation with the Missouri Alliance to Curb Problem Gambling.
Comments or questions about this Web site can be directed to betsoff@molottery.com


Help Is Available
If you feel you or someone you know has a gambling problem, call
(1-888-238-7633). email - freehelp@888betsoff.org

Your toll-free call to 1-888-BETSOFF can put you in touch with people who understand your situation and can refer you to free treatment in your area.

You can also reach the Help Line counselors via email; emails will be answered within 15 hours.

Compulsive gambling is a behavior disorder in which an individual has an uncontrollable preoccupation and urge to gamble. This results in excessive gambling, the outcome of which is loss of time and money.

The gambling reaches the point at which it compromises, disrupts or destroys the gambler's personal life, family relationships or vocational pursuits. The key signs are emotional dependence on gambling, loss of control and interference with normal functioning.