The Warning Signs of Gambling Addiction


Gambling is the wagering of something of value on an event based on chance or skill, where instances of strategy are discounted. It includes the use of any device or medium that has a random component such as dice, cards, keno, bingo, lottery, or a sports game. The gambling industry is an international, multibillion-dollar business. It is estimated that more than one billion people participate in gambling globally each year. It has a major impact on the economy of the countries where it is legalized.

Various factors contribute to someone becoming addicted to gambling. These may include an early big win, boredom susceptibility, impulsivity, the illusion of control, escape coping, and stressful life experiences. While these may not excuse the person from responsibility, they do help to explain why he or she keeps gambling.

Many people are able to stop gambling once the thrill has worn off, but others can’t. This is why it is important for individuals to know the signs that they are getting hooked on gambling. If you notice that your loved one is starting to gamble more and more often, it’s time to seek professional help.

In the past, it was difficult to define and recognize a problem with gambling. But in recent years, a greater understanding of the nature and prevalence of gambling problems has improved. Today, there are some clear warning signs to look out for. Some of these include:

Some individuals may be more susceptible to gambling addiction because of certain genetic traits or their environment. They may also have less activation of their prefrontal cortex, which is involved in the control of impulses and risk. They may also be more likely to experience a reward-seeking behaviour and be more impulsive than other people.

Another factor contributing to gambling addiction is that human beings are wired to want to feel in control. The unpredictable nature of gambling can frustrate people and lead them to try to gain some control over the outcome by throwing the dice in a certain way or wearing a lucky shirt. This can be very dangerous for those struggling with a gambling disorder.

A good tip to remember when visiting a casino is to start with a set amount of money that you’re willing to lose and stick to it. Leave your ATM card at home and only bring cash. Also, always tip your dealers, either by handing them a chip and clearly saying “This is for you,” or by placing a bet on their behalf. Don’t forget to tip the cocktail waitresses too – they deserve it! Also, avoid drinking too much if you plan to play for long periods of time. Drinking can cloud judgement and make you more prone to reckless betting.