Indiana University Bloomington
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IPGAP: Indiana Problem Gambling Awareness Program


Gambling Terminology (adapted from the Minnesota Institute of Public Health)

Bailout - Money given to a gambler to allow him/her to pay debts without suffering consequences. A form of enabling.

Bet - The amount of money or object that is risked in a wager.

Bingo - A game of chance where the players use a board that is divided up into squares. The squares are all numbered, and the numbers are picked randomly from a container of some kind. The first person to match the numbers picked on their game card in a row, across, horizontally, or diagonally wins.

Casino - A gambling facility that normally includes all or a combination of the following: slot machines, video games, card games, and other games such as keno, craps and bingo. Usually there is a minimum age you have to be to be allowed inside.

Chasing - The urgent need to keep gambling–often with larger bets–or the taking of greater risks in order to make up for a loss or series of losses.

Compulsive Gambling - Not being able to resist the urge to gamble. This leads to damage to a person's personal life, family, or job. It is a disorder or addiction that can be helped. Also referred to as pathological gambling.

Craps - A game of chance where the player throws two dice. If the player rolls a 7 or 11, the total of the two dice together, the player wins. This is probably the most popular game of chance in the world, but it is illegal in some states.

Gambling - To bet money on the outcome of a game, contest, or other event. Playing a game of chance.

Gambling - To wager money or something of material value on an event with an uncertain outcome with the primary intent of winning additional money and/or material goods.

Gamblers Anonymous (GA) - A fellowship in which people share their experience, support, and hope in order to stop gambling and build better lives.

Game - An activity providing entertainment or amusement; a pastime: party games; word games.

Gaming - Activity has been specifically legalized by applicable laws or where the activity is exempted from the criminal laws.

Gam-Anon - A fellowship in which families and friends of compulsive gamblers learn effective ways to cope with the gambling problem by seeking help for themselves and gaining serenity and peace of mind.

Handle - Total amount of money bet.

High Stakes Bingo - The type of bingo that is played at the Tribal casinos. The prizes are larger than what you find at bingo games run by a charitable organization such as a church.

In Action - A term used to describe the gambler when gambling. Some describe it as a physiological and psychological arousal.

Inpatient Treatment - A patient staying in a hospital or treatment center for treatment.

Lawful Gambling (formerly Charitable Gambling) - Games including pull-tabs, bingo, tipboards, paddlewheels and raffles that are operated by nonprofit groups under state regulations.

Lottery - A game of chance where tokens, keys, or other objects are sold. Of these items only one is the winner. The winner is usually selected randomly by a drawing.

Net Proceeds (Net Outcome) - Amount of money left after all prizes are given out, taxes are paid, and expenses are paid.

Net Revenue (Consumer Loss) - The amount of money a gambling enterprise makes in profits after payment of prizes. It is a better measurement than gross revenues or the handle (total amount of money wagered by consumers) for comparing the size of one form of gambling with another, or with nongambling industries.

Off-track Betting - Betting on horse racing away from the track where the race is being run. Can be done by phone or at a specific off-track betting location.

Outpatient Treatment - A patient who receives treatment at a hospital or clinic without being hospitalized.

Problem Gambling - Heavy gambling by people who are not fully addicted and can stop but who experience problems related to their gambling.

Pull-tabs - A game of chance in which the player pulls tabs on a card to match symbols to find out if he/she wins or loses.

Risk - The possibility of losing an amount of money that is bet on the outcome of an event, contest, game, or machine.

Simulcasting - Any televising of races for the purpose of betting on them. Usually televised at off-track betting parlors or at a racetrack other than the one at which a race is being run.

Tipboards - A game of chance in which tickets are sold off a board and then the seal is broken to show the winner.

Video Gaming - Electronic games, typically poker, keno, blackjack or slots, played on a video screen for money.