I suffer from ludopathy. Because of the vice of gambling in casinos, I lost my job, got into debt, and gambled everything away. I still gamble with the little that I earn. I have a family, but I keep doing the same thing and can’t find a way to extricate myself from it.

Dear Friend,

{We are very sorry to hear about your situation. It is clear that your entire family has been affected.}

We wish that you had revealed who it was that diagnosed you with ludopathy. That is a medical diagnosis that can only be made by a doctor who specializes in psychiatry. You don’t mention any medical treatment, and that troubles us because ludopathy requires medical intervention. It is often associated with a deficiency of norepinephrine, which is a chemical in our brains, and medication is sometimes part of the treatment.

Ludopathy is more than just excessive gambling. It is compulsively gambling while sometimes neglecting to eat, sleep, or take care of the family. Just as a drug addict is physiologically dependent on drugs, the person who suffers from ludopathy is physiologically dependent on gambling.

Of course, most people who gamble are not suffering from ludopathy. Some gamble as entertainment, and others play games that require skill as well as luck. But participating in gambling can lead to addiction the same as experimenting with illegal drugs can.

Drug addiction, alcoholism, and gambling all waste financial resources that are needed by the family. But those vices also rob families of healthy relationships and of time that should have been spent together.

Most people start gambling because they want to accumulate money in a faster and easier way than working for it. They buy lottery tickets every week, with dreams of how they would spend the money. Their goal is to win and to be able to enjoy the luxuries that money can bring to them. It is as if they believe that money could solve all their problems.

However, the Apostle Paul taught that “people who long to be rich fall into temptation and are trapped by many foolish and harmful desires that plunge them into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. And some people, craving money, have wandered from the true faith and pierced themselves with many sorrows.” (1)

The Apostle Paul was warning his co-worker, Timothy, of the danger of making the accumulation of wealth a priority. He calls it a harmful desire that leads to ruin. That is exactly what has happened to you. You have been ruined by your harmful desires.

We advise you to seek medical treatment immediately, or if you are already under a doctor’s care, to follow all of the doctor’s recommendations. We think that it would also help to join a Gamblers Anonymous Group so that you can get the moral support that you need.

God loves you even though you have sinned against Him. We all have sinned, but He loves us anyway. If you are sorry for your sin, then tell Him so. Ask for His forgiveness (2) and His wisdom and strength for your future.

We wish you well,

1 1 Ti 6:9-10 (NLT)
2 Jn 3:16; Ro 3:23; 5:8; 1 Jn 1:9