Addiction to Gambling

how can gambling be an addiction?

Why gambling is interesting?

Trying to understand the background of why and how people can get addicted to gambling. Usually people try to stay away from spending their money, which is the complete opposite of gambling. Why do they feel the need to put money into something when the odds are against you.

History of Gambling addiction

"In 1497 John Cabot found a Native population that played a variety of games of chance. These games had meanings that were important to the spiritual, emotional, mental and physical development of Aboriginal nations. Going back even further, archaeologists have unearthed gaming sticks that date all the way back to 6000 BC. Every society appears to have accepted gambling, legal or otherwise, in some form or another."(CAHM) Throughout the 1930's through the 50's gambling was legal, including horse racing and charity bingo. But then outlawed by the government. Before 1988 there was no regulating gambling and crime was very prevalent and when they did legalize it, the government really cracked down on illegal gambling (slot machines) . From 189 to 1964 there were no legalized government run lotteries, New Hampshire was the first to register.

What is the biology behind gambling addiction?

Biology behind gambling

People get addicted to gambling because of main reasons, they thing they can control chance, are lured to the jackpot, they have gambling fever, and have the belief that their luck will change. Many people feel that they can predict chances when in reality they have no control over it. I doesn't matter how smart you are chance is chance and skill has no effect on it. People also are very attracted to the jackpot and the thought of winning big even when the odds aren't in their favor. We tend to remember wins more than losses and attribute them when gambling. "Beginners luck" makes people feel lucky. Gambling fever is when addicts think that when they win early that they are good at the game and have good luck. This makes them come back looking and expecting to have that same luck. When gambling many think that their luck will change eventually when they play. They loosing as just gaining up before they win big. This causes great loss and blindness to the real problem they have.

Treatment for addiction

They are many different options when dealing with gambling addiction such as and Both help explain and understand the reasons the one is addicted and programs that can help. There is many different ways to treat, inpatient, outpatient, 12 step program, therapy, and medication. When addressing it is important to remember that it is a mainstream problem and one may be embarrassed when admitting it. It is important to also remember to help that recovery from gambling will be a long financial road of helping to replenish what was lost. Often times symptoms are agitation, irritation, anxiety, and restlessness.

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15 to 20 million people become addicted to gambling every year in the United States. In a study in 2006 there was a net loos of $91 billion among all forms of gambling combined.

Impact on Lives

If a person becomes addicted to gambling then it could put them in serious financial distress. With this distress there is also stress and anxiety that has to do with money and financing your life. All these things could put strains on your life and family causing depression and anxiety. The behavior of the person changes and in their mind the only way to get it back is to continue to gamble cause further debt. They are blinded by what would be right to do in this situation and what was wrong. This could impact their health in a way that would cause mental strain.


Tyler, Mara. "Gambling Addiction." Healthline. George Krucik, MD, MBA, 14 July 2014. Web. 24 Sept. 2015.

Segal, Jeanne. "Gambling Addiction and Problem Gambling." : Warning Signs and How to Get Help. N.p., Sept. 2015. Web. 24 Sept. 2015.

"Why Do People Become Addicted?" Why Do People Become Addicted?Gambling: Help and Referral, Jan. 2011. Web. 24 Sept. 2015.

Dunstan, Roger. "History of Gambling in the United States." History of Gambling in the United States. California Research Bureau, Jan. 1997. Web. 24 Sept. 2015.