Why can’t a compulsive gambler simply use willpower to stop gambling?

We believe that most people, if they are honest, will recognize their lack of power to solve certain problems. When it comes to gambling, we have known many problem gamblers who could abstain for long stretches, but caught off guard and under the right set of circumstances, they started gambling without thought of the consequences. The defenses they relied upon, through will power alone, gave way before some trivial reason for placing a bet. We have found that will power and self-knowledge will not help in those mental blank spots, but adherence to spiritual principles seems to solve our problems. Most of us feel that a belief in a power greater than ourselves is necessary in order for us to sustain a desire to refrain from gambling.


Return to Frequently Asked Questions about compulsive gambling and Gamblers Anonymous.

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