Why Is Gambling Addictive?
Gambling is the act of betting something of value on a contest with an uncertain result with the intention of eventually winning something else of equal value. In the past, gambling has been illegal in many areas, including most European Union countries. Today it is largely accepted as a socially acceptable way for people to pass their time and win money. It is estimated that over $60 billion is spent on online gambling each year. Gambling is often associated with poker, but a large number of gamblers also play slot machines, video poker, bingo, horse racing, or any other games where a chance of winning exists. Gambling is closely related to sport, with many professional sports teams often holding regular games for their loyal supporters, and major leagues hosting several regular games for fans to watch.
To put it simply, gamblers are people who place their bets, whether for money or prizes, on any sort of gambling activity. Some gamblers are professionals who win regularly, while others tend to lose large amounts of money occasionally. People can get involved in various forms of gambling from poker game betting, race horse gaming, bingo, lottery games, and poker. Poker, the most popular of all, is known for its long-term winners and huge payouts, though recent years have seen a decline in its popularity. Most professional gamblers spend thousands of dollars on a regular basis.
The term ‘problem gambling’ refers to those who are engaged in gambling activities for profit, rather than for mere recreation. Problem gamblers tend to see gambling as a means of making a quick buck, without regard to the risks involved. Such problem gamblers may be particularly inclined towards internet gambling, which does not involve face-to-face interaction, and has no physical contact with the object of the gamble. Online gambling websites offer their clients a great variety of gambling activities, ranging from high-stakes video poker games to high-quality online slot machines and bingo, all of which can be played with’real money’. It should be noted that the majority of state laws prohibit the playing of gambling equipment intended to be used for gambling, such as claw-type gaming machines.
The term ‘excessive gambling addiction’ identifies a state in which a person loses excessive amounts of money that they cannot afford to repay, and is so preoccupied with their gambling addiction that it takes up almost all of their waking hours. The most common symptom of excessive gambling addiction is a constant feeling of anxiety and tension, characterized by irritability and anxiety about money matters. The gambler will often neglect personal hygiene, eat junk food and neglect to take care of themselves. They may sleep for only an hour or two and engage in multiple activities that include binge eating and heavy drinking. Gambling addicts may also repeatedly visit potentially dangerous locations, and fail to realize that their actions will have serious financial consequences.
Different gamblers have different levels of compulsion and willingness to gamble. Some gamblers who engage in high-risk gambling are those who are more emotionally attached to winning and feel an intense sense of satisfaction if they are successful in gaining a jackpot prize. Other gamblers are those who are only willing to gamble when they know that they will be able to win, even if it means losing a considerable sum of money. Many gamblers will choose gambling over other forms of entertainment because they are emotionally attached to the moment they place down a bet. As with many forms of addiction, the more you gamble the more attached you become, until the addiction takes over and you are no longer able to stop yourself from gambling.
Excessive gambling can negatively impact the health of the gambler, as they regularly expose themselves to germs and other health risks by being constantly exposed to the media about gambling, as well as keeping detailed gambling records. This can lead to a higher risk of contracting infections such as the cold, the flu, and other health risks that can increase the chance of developing addiction to gambling. As well as exposing the gambler to health risks, some gamblers have also been known to expose their family or friends to gambling after they have spent gambling money, which can seriously damage the social standing of the person concerned, as they are no longer in control of their spending and gambling behaviour.