Is There Such a Thing As a Gambling Addiction?
Gambling is the act of betting something of value against an unknown future outcome with the intention of winning that something else of equal value. Gambling therefore requires three key ingredients to be present: risk, consideration, and a reward. Without any of these three, gambling would not be possible. However, in order to gain profit, a gambler needs to take into consideration both risk and reward. While each comes in different forms and levels of importance, they all still play into the game of gambling.
Risk refers to the chance that a gambling game will end in a loss for a gambler. This is where gamblers bet their money in hopes that the amount they bet on a certain game will be a winner. While this all sounds good in theory, there is no way to know what will actually happen in a game until it actually occurs. Thus, while some gamblers bet because they have faith that they will win, most just want to win more and bet larger amounts.
Problem gambling is when a person continues to gamble even though they have a problem. It’s like an addiction because the gambler finds it difficult to stop gambling even though they are experiencing financial, physical, or emotional hardships of some sort. This type of problem gambling can also occur because of environmental factors, such as the fact that gambling is legal almost everywhere in a variety of gambling venues, or even because the person is simply unable to stop from engaging in the activity. These types of problem gambling addicts are typically considered to be dangerous because, given the frequency and magnitude of the problem, it could get out of control and result in the closure of a person’s life.
Reward is also related to gambling addiction because, oftentimes, gambling offers people something they desire more than they can normally get in real life. For example, the possibility of winning big on the slot machines makes the prospect of gambling worthwhile to many. Other addictions involve the availability of people (such as friends and family) to provide support for the addicted person, and even if they don’t have immediate benefits from their participation, the continued involvement helps them feel good about themselves. In these cases, the reward for these actions is not necessarily the real thing, but rewards derived from accomplishing goals and dreams.
Although many gamblers do not admit to having gambling addictions, the existence of a gambling addiction can be detected in many ways. For example, gamblers may engage in increasing amounts of gambling in an effort to “justify” losing more money. Many gamblers will use memory trickery such as stating the amount they lost in a previous game when they are only actually gambling with their entire bankroll. Problem gamblers will indulge in a lot of lottery games, bingo games, or other forms of games that award small amounts of cash, which are then lost in a subsequent game.
The majority of people that gambling can stop when they find the right help. However, a problem gambler won’t know that they have a gambling addiction until it is too late. The most effective way to overcome problem gambling is to consult a licensed therapist or psychologist, who can evaluate the gambler’s situation and determine if there is a gambling addiction or simply a group of bad decisions. Gamblers that are caught in the web of addiction will need assistance to break their habit. While there is no easy way to beat gambling addiction, there are ways to conquer it and live a life that is not bogged down by the constant anxiety of losing money.