Glossary of Terms

Glossary of Terms

Glossary of Terms

Problem Gambling*

Problem Gambling, or Disordered Gambling as it is sometimes called, is an addiction. A person with a gambling addiction typically experiences one or more of the following in a typical 12-month period:

  1. The need to gamble with increasing amounts of money to achieve the desired level of excitement
  2. A restless or irritable feeling when trying to cut down on stop gambling
  3. Repeated unsuccessful efforts to control, cut back on or stop gambling
  4. Frequent thoughts about gambling (such as reliving past gambling experiences, planning the next gambling venture, thinking of ways to get money to gamble)
  5. The need to gamble to relieve stres
  6. The desire to gamble to win back money lost during previous gambling activity, which is often called "chasing your losses"
  7. The act of lying to conceal your gambling activity
  8. A willingness to jeopardize or lose a significant relationship, job or educational/career opportunity because of gambling
  9. A reliance on others to help with money problems caused by gambling

*From NY Council on Problem Gambling,

Statewide Voluntary Self-Exclusion

New York's Statewide Voluntary Self-Exclusion (VSE) program is the broadest initiative of its kind in the nation. The VSE program allows gamblers to voluntarily bar themselves from entering and/or participating in video lottery gaming, casino gambling, on- and off-track pari-mutuel wagering, internet and account wagering, interactive fantasy sports and any additional gaming or gambling operation which may, in the future, come under the regulatory control of the New York State Gaming Commission.

The program allows participants to opt-out of such activities for periods of one year, three years, five years, or a lifetime.

For more information, visit


Probability is an estimate of the chance of winning divided by the total number of chances available. If there are four tickets in a draw and a player owns one of them, his or her probability of winning is 1 in 4.


Odds represent the average frequency of a loss compared to the average frequency of a win. If a player owns 1 of 4 tickets, his/her robability is 1 in 4 but his/her odds are 3 to 1. That means that there are 3 chances of losing and only 1 chance of winning.


The basis of all random-like events is a combination of (1) initial uncertainty and (2) complex or non-linear relationships. Uncertainty simply means that we do not know the exact values of all the variables with absolute precision. Uncertainty is an inherent part of measurement; nothing is ever 100% certain.


Probability and odds are slightly different ways of describing a player's chances of winning. Adding more opportunities (e.g., buying more tickets, playing more bingo cards or slot machines) increases a player's chance to win, but does not allow him/her to beat the odds.

**From the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH),

New York State HOPEline

The NYS HOPEline is a confidential support and referral hotline staffed by trained, masters-level clinicians 24 hours a day, seven days a week. HOPEline staff can answer your questions and help you find problem gambling treatment and/or self-help in your area. The HOPEline number is 1-877-846-7369. You can also text 467369 to receive the same confidential services.