Gamblers Anonymous began in 1957 when two men discussed the problems they were having as direct results of gambling. They knew they needed to continue ongoing meetings in order to prevent relapsing. On September 13, 1957, Gamblers Anonymous was born, and has continued to grow ever since. Compulsive gambling is an addiction. It is not something you can overcome by yourself. You need help to beat it. For Gamblers Anonymous to work, you need to have a desire to change and be committed to the program. Honesty, open-mindedness, and willingness are the three keywords Gamblers Anonymous is built upon. The inability to accept reality, emotional insecurity and immaturity are characteristics compulsive gamblers all share. They tend to hide behind the addiction. Compulsive gamblers have dreams of what they will do when they finally "win big," but they often lose big with the addiction to continue trying no matter what. Gam-Anon is for family members or friends of a compulsive Gamblers Anonymous works because it utilizes the 12-step program many other support groups use. It has been proven successful as long as you have a desire to change. gambler. Compulsive gambling, as with any addiction, affects everyone--not just the one doing the gambling.