When Gambling Becomes Obsessive

For millions, the thrill of the bet is as addictive as any drug. Scientists are beginning to figure out why--and what can be done to help

For a man who hasn't bet a nickel since 1989, Bruce Roberts spends a lot of time in casinos. He's rarely there alone, however. He usually has an escort walk him through--the better to ensure that he doesn't succumb to the sweet swish of the cards or the signature rattle of the dice. A onetime compulsive gambler, Roberts, 62, weathered his years of wagering better than many. He never lost his wife or his home--although he has refinanced the house nine times. "Cards and Vegas were the two biggest things in my life," he says. "I'm a helluva poker player, but...

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