With gambling addiction on the rise and across Europe in particular, the voices calling gambling a disease has been gaining grounds. Earlier, the UK gambling commission announced a significant shift in their approach to gambling as they said that gambling is a disease, and therefore, it should be addressed adequately by the NHS.
Now the World Health Organization has also called gambling a disease. In it’s 72nd World Health Assembly held on Saturday, May 25, decided that ‘gaming disorder’ is an official illness. The 194-member meet added excessive gaming to a classified list of diseases as it revised its International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problem (ICD-11).
Earlier in June 2018, the WHO had defined excessive gaming as: ‘a pattern of behaviour characterised by impaired control over gaming, increasing priority given to gaming over other activities to the extent that gaming takes precedence over other interests and daily activities, and continuation or escalation of gaming despite the occurrence of negative consequences’
While the international body also identified the symptoms of the disease, it also mentioned the impacts it can have including ‘impairment in personal, family, social, educational occupation or other important areas of functioning.‘