The Americans with Disabilities Act explicitly excludes "compulsive gambling" from its definition of disability, thus denying gambling addicts protection from employer discrimination based on their disorder. Since the enactment of the ADA, however, scientific understandings of gambling disorder have evolved to view the condition as an addiction, rather than as a compulsion or impulsecontrol disorder. This move is mirrored in the DSM-5's reclassification of gambling disorder under the category of "substance-related and other addictive disorders."
This Note contends that gambling disorder would qualify as a "disability" under the ADA, were it not for the disorder's current statutory exclusion. This Note therefore recommends that the ADA be amended to bring gambling disorder within its coverage. Such a change would not only reflect recent developments in the field of addiction psychology, but would also further the ADA's underlying purpose—to protect individuals with disabilities from workplace discrimination.
Kathleen V. Wade,
Challenging the Exclusion of Gambling Disorder as a Disability Under the Americans with Disabilities Act,
64 Duke Law Journal
Available at: http://scholarship.law.duke.edu/dlj/vol64/iss5/4