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Is there a difference between a Degenerate Gambler and a Problem Gambler?

Discussion in 'Non-Vegas Chat' started by Electroguy563, May 2, 2016.

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  1. Electroguy563

    Electroguy563 Over-Fried Gambler

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    Are they one and the same? Is "degenerate gambler" just a nice way of saying problem gambler?

    For those who confirm, (or jest) about being a degenerate gambler, would it offend you if the two terms are indeed one and the same? How would you feel if someone called you a problem gambler instead of a degenerate gambler?

    And if some of us feel that the two terms are NOT the same, then in what ways are they different from each other?

    I see the term "degenerate gambler" being used a lot lately. I'm just wondering if those of us who use this term know for sure what it means and if they are just using a nicer term to acknowledge they have a problem; or is it an accepted term to use for a person who is perhaps a couple of levels away from becoming a problem gambler?

    I'm curious as to how folks perceive the term "degenerate gambler" in relation to the more serious "problem gambler".
     
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  2. WichitaMuskie

    WichitaMuskie Low-Roller

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    I sure hope there's a difference!
     
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  3. ken2v

    ken2v This Space For Rent

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    Noun or adjective (or verb), "degenerate" does not have a remotely positive connotation.

    I think it is used here, and at other Vegas message sites, as a private clubhouse key or secret handshake, a "cool" code or password that provides an easy shorthand for like-minded folks; it's cutesy. Sure, there are some for whom there is no line fine or otherwise separating "degenerate" from addict or "problem" gambler. And there's probably a larger group for whom it is a quippy rationalization as to a behavior that might have them at least somewhat concerned about what they are doing.

    But mostly it's a decoder ring for folks to share in a way lost on the general populace.
     
  4. Joe

    Joe VIP Whale

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    I use the term degenerate as a joke, nothing more. I don't "think" I have a problem. Except for NFL season and on-line betting, my gambling is strictly limited to Vegas.
     
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  5. Ty

    Ty ?

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    This.
     
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  6. Alexander

    Alexander Low-Roller

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    Degenerate Gambler, a person who plays a lot because he is having fun and wants to gamble.
    Problem Gambler. A person who gambles because he feels he needs to gamble, not doing it for fun
     
  7. Sonya

    Sonya Queen of VMB

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    I agree with others who have said that "degenerate" is used in a humorous tone because they like to gamble a LOT.

    I think problem gambling comes into play when there are ramifications to your gambling. It's one thing to know you enjoy gambling and allocate a certain percentage of your income to the "Vegas Budget" and another thing to not be able to put gas in the car or pay your rent because you needed to get some lotto tickets or were sure that slot machine was going to pay off.
     
  8. cjohnson202

    cjohnson202 VIP Whale

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    I would put a degenerate as someone who gambles a lot and recklessly, but can afford what they are spending and are not effecting their big picture.

    a problem gambler would be someone who can't afford what they're spending and putting the rest of their financial life at risk.


    That's just my opinion though
     
  9. bigalbr

    bigalbr VIP Whale

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    If you're being serious about what words actually mean, degenerate gambler is to problem gambler as alcoholic is to problem drinker.

    There's a misuse of the term in poker circles to describe anybody who isn't playing poker well or is playing unbeatable house edge games as a degen or someone who is "degenning it up".
     
  10. Ezzy711

    Ezzy711 Low-Roller

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    My definitions:

    Degenerate: someone who takes any easy opportunity to gamble. Most vacations are to destinations that have casinos. However, if financial circumstances change or it stops being fun, they cut back or stop gambling until they can afford to go again.

    Problem: will continue to take trips to casinos when they cannot afford to lose the entire BR, thinks they can win enough to cover this month's mortgage payment, and/or continues when it is no longer fun.

    I only have one friend and one sibling who enjoy gambling. They probably think I'm a degenerate. Since my finances changed I've gone from 3-4 trips a year to 1-2. My non gambling freinds might describe that as a problem. Probably because I read, talk and dream about my next trip as soon as I return from the last one. I just ignore them and make fun of all their Disney bumper stickers, mouse ears and "adult" Mickey Mouse watch.
     
  11. nostresshere

    nostresshere Mr. Anti Debit Card

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    Degenerate - spends more than he should. May blow more money than he should, but at least does not have to borrow/steal. May even party more than he/she should. At risk of being a problem gambler.

    Problem Gambler - losses are more than he can afford. Thinks he can finally get ahead on the next hand, night, trip, bender. No longer realizes he is/was a degenerate.
     
  12. Alexander

    Alexander Low-Roller

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    The next step from Problem Gambler just may be Addicted Gambler. Addicted Gambler keeps playing way past it being fun and gets scary and sad. Addicted Gambler steals money to play more money to chase rent money that he gambled away.
     
  13. ken2v

    ken2v This Space For Rent

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    One can be a full-blown addict and not have lapsed into totally miscreant behavior. It is the need, the fix, the compulsion. Those behaviors likely will kick in over time, escalate, but there are gobs of functioning addicts -- booze, gambling, sex, porn, drugs, whatever -- out among all of us. Delusion, justification and rationalization are all parts of that whole racket.
     
  14. Alexander

    Alexander Low-Roller

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    Good point, Ken. Like someone mentioned, a Degenerate can lose more money than he wanted to, but at least doesn't steal to get the money back.
     
  15. ken2v

    ken2v This Space For Rent

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    If you lose more than you wanted and it happens with some frequency, it doesn't matter if you steal or sell drugs or whatever, or not. And it doesn't matter if the behavior is somehow couched in this gambling-PC concept of a "degenerate" that is bandied about by some. That person has a gambling problem.
     
  16. tringlomane

    tringlomane STP Addicted Beer Snob

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    When it comes to this and other forums, the tone is generally humorous and is supposed to elicit excitement. As in, "I'm a degenerate because I gamble and/or drink all day and night in Vegas." But when one is visiting Vegas, this isn't necessarily something that leads to a problem.
     
  17. Alexander

    Alexander Low-Roller

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    Okay, Ken, fair enough.
     
  18. Alexander

    Alexander Low-Roller

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    Tring, you also have a good point that visiting Vegas does not necessarily lead to a problem, but going every single weekend when you live in say New York could be a huge problem.
     
  19. kollegekreed

    kollegekreed Tourist

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    I both run and play at bingos in NH.

    I am a degenerate gambler...I go a few nights a week and lose a couple hundred bucks. But, I have it to lose.

    Conversely, we have problem gamblers. These people win a couple hundred bucks and as I am paying them say "great! I can pay my rent now!"
     
  20. Multifarious5

    Multifarious5 High-Roller

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    I think it also depends on who is putting the "degenerate" gambler title down. If someone is calling themselves DG, its often tongue in cheek, playful. If you're being labeled a DG, it can be as bad, if not worse than PG.

    Personally, if used playfully, DG means someone who probably spends more than non/light gamblers would, but still have a budget and can stick to it...they play for fun. They just spend more money/time than non/light gamblers might. A problem gambler (or DG title bestowed by someone else), to me, can infer someone doesnt play for fun necessarily, but out of addiction, and they don't have a self-imposed cut off.

    But again, it's subjective on which is worse, and it depends on who is throwing the title DG out there.

    Playing a lot but playing within set boundaries = playful DG. The other DG/PG, to me at least, is when the gambling controls someone...even when it's not fun and even when they try to stop...they cant.
     
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