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APA Proposes Gambling To Be Classified As Behavioral Addiction

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Those within the gambling industry may soon have to deal with something new that will help anti-gambling groups make their point that gambling can be harmful. The American Psychiatric Association is proposing that gambling be changed to a "behavioral addiction."

For years, anyone with gambling interests were lobbying to keep the form of entertainment from being classified as an addiction. They now may have to deal with that reality if the APA has its way.

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Health is what mental health professionals use to determine mental illness. If gambling is changed to a behavioral addiction, there may be more risk involved for the gambling community.

Experts believe that if the classification is changed, casinos, slot manufacturers, and others within the industry could face a similar problem that the tobacco industry faces. If a person is diagnosed with this addiction, those within the industry could be held liable, if the service they provide is found to be the cause of the addiction.

The change in classification also could make a difference in health care benefits. Currently, gambling addiction is not covered under mental health benefits. If gambling becomes a recognized behavioral addiction, people may be able to get coverage for their treatment of the addiction.

The APA has not revised the Manual in sixteen years, and in that time gambling has become prevalent all across the world. Casinos are available in almost every US state, and Internet gambling has become one of the biggest industry's in the world.

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