When a problem gambler decides to stop the problem gambling behavior, the individual might have questions about whether they just have to stop the games they were playing or if they have to stop all gambling activities. This is similar to the alcoholic who believes that since their addiction was to beer, they can still drink other beverages containing alcohol and be in recovery from alcoholism.
The truth is all gambling behavior must be stopped. The definition of a gambling activity is any activity where one wagers money and the outcome is unknown. The primary intent is to win money and it is speculated that very few individuals would participate in gambling activities if the chance to win money were not an option. All gambling activities where money is wagered and the outcome is unknown can be problems for the individual with an addiction to gambling.
If a person were addicted to slot machines, they not only need to stop playing slot machines, but also bingo with friends on the weekends or weekly card games with friends. There are many who attend gamblers anonymous meetings who do not think that they need to stop investing in the stock market when they were addicted to casino games.
Groups such as gamblers anonymous are pretty specific about giving up all gambling activity. If the individual decides to play the stock market, they could be setting themselves up for relapse, ultimately returning to their favorite casino games.
The gambling addict is not addicted to a particular game per se but rather to the bigger picture of gambling. Gambling addicts have issues with cognitive processes and how they think about money and how they think they can win money.
While there is research that supports a bingo addict could play lottery without any adverse consequences, it is best to adopt the philosophy of total abstinence and refrain from all types of gambling. Any gambling activity carries with it an opportunity to return the gambling addict to their favorite games and a life of uncertainty.