Gambling Addiction


Gambling is a popular pastime for many people. It can bring joy and excitement, as well as provide a source of income for families and support charities. However, there are also risks associated with gambling such as addiction and financial loss. In this article, we will explore why some people become hooked on gambling and some of the factors that can trigger problem gambling.

Some of the most common reasons why people gamble are: to get money, for fun, and for socialization. However, it is important to understand the risks involved in gambling and to take precautions when playing for real money. For example, always tip the casino dealers (don’t hand them cash, just chips) and don’t drink too many free cocktails. This way you can avoid getting into trouble and you’ll have a much better time.

It is widely believed that the development of a gambling addiction is caused by a combination of factors, including a person’s genetic and psychological predisposition to do so, as well as changes in brain chemistry. In fact, the DSM-5 has redefined pathological gambling as a psychiatric disorder, similar to substance abuse.

Those who are susceptible to gambling addiction may be predisposed to risky behaviours and have difficulty controlling their spending or impulses. In addition, they often have less activation of their prefrontal cortex, the part of the brain that helps regulate emotions and self-control. This makes them more likely to make risky decisions and to overestimate their chances of winning.

Another factor that contributes to gambling addiction is a person’s need to feel in control. This can be due to the unpredictability of gambling, which can lead them to try and gain some control over it by throwing the dice a certain way, sitting in a particular spot or wearing a lucky item of clothing. However, this can only be a temporary fix and ultimately leads to more frustration when they lose.

People are also more sensitive to losses than gains of the same magnitude. For example, losing a PS10 note provokes a much stronger reaction than finding PS10. This can motivate people to endlessly play in an attempt to win back the lost money or to alleviate their feelings of disappointment or frustration. This is known as the ‘gambler’s fallacy’ and it can be very difficult to break out of.