Last Updated: Friday, 07 April 2023 21:57

Gambling Addiction: Meaning and Ways of Treatment 

Gambling addiction: meaning and ways of treatment
Let us talk about such vital topics as gambling addiction and punters psychology in general. Now you may find out whether you have a gaming addiction, how dangerous it is, and how to get rid of it. We will also try to understand the psychology of the gambler. If you have just started exploring the casino world, this article will benefit self-control and awareness of your actions. At the end of this article, we will provide some valuable ways of treatment of gaming addiction and will share information on how to control gambling spending.

Why Gambling is An Addiction

Gambling has been for several hundred years. The eras, generations and Governments have changed, but casino is still an addiction. Why do people have such strange behaviour? After all, the casino always wins. The casino has always earned itself throughout time. However, people keep coming back again and again to gambling houses.

And it is not about money, but psychology. Anyone can have a gambling addiction. Some may be less addictive, others more. However, with rare exceptions, anyone may be addicted to gaming. And as a rule, gambling addiction targets energetic and purposeful people who value their time and money.

Anyone may be addicted to gambling. It is like a drug addiction – you have to begin. Depending on the player's psychology, the habit may be treated faster or slower. Some may live with gambling addiction a whole life.

The Novices Are Lucky, or The First Dose is Free

The beginners are fortunate. Being for the first time on an online casino site, the player will often win a decent amount. Then, interest in gambling grows more and more. After all, it was an easy win. You do not need to work or save up. You can win several times more than you get in everyday operations.

However, the casino is a business. The only rule is that the casino always gets the mathematical expectation (advantage). The casino always wins! The more people play, the higher the probability of loss. The human factor is taken into consideration as well.

Our memory is quite selective. You may not remember the small losses, but a big win will be remembered for a long. Then you play over and over again, hoping to repeat it. Ask any avid player about how much he lost. He will tell you a significant amount, but he will often try to pull the plug on it. However, he continues to play. He has no choice. He is already addicted.

Winning is Not So Crucial as Gameplay

At some point, the victory becomes less important than the gameplay. This is explained by the fact that you experience powerful emotions during the game. In everyday life, the feelings of such force are quite rare. Sometimes the casino game is compared to "driving rage": when the person becomes irritable while driving and hardly controls his deeds and sayings. If you frequently play at pokies, remember your felling in the following situations:

  • When a missing symbol drops at a high stake.
  • When you get a big win at a high stake.
  • When you reach the last line, the 3rd Scatter and the free spins with a multiplier are launched at a high stake.

In the end, you cannot live without those feelings and emotions. You get addicted to the gaming endorphins and adrenaline. So, the gameplay becomes more important than the result.

Study on The Causes of Gambling Addictions

In the experiment, which involved thirty people (15 players and 15 people with no gambling), positron emission topographies were conducted to study the receptors responsible for releasing endorphins known as "happy hormones." In addition, the receptors significantly influence mood; they also reduce the pain threshold, which is also essential. It was found that there is a clear correlation between the number of endorphins and gambling (game) addiction.

Developing Immunity

As you know, the human body is an automated system. Place it in unfavourable conditions for long periods; if it doesn't die, it will adapt to new situations. Protective reactions are also present in the case of gambling addiction. The more intense emotions get in the gambler's brain, the weaker it responds to weak stimuli. This is the main problem. Gambling is similar to drugs. See how it works:

  • The player feels the strongest emotions when coming for the first time to a casino or launching a pokie. This is the adrenaline during spins, the joy of getting a big bonus or the excitement of a big payment.
  • In everyday life, we seldom feel positive emotions. We don't have the reasons for their occurrence. And if the adrenaline from a game can be gotten in everyday life by fast car driving (driving rage), we can get the joy of winning only in gambling.
  • It turns out that the emotional perception of the world is significantly reduced because of the much more powerful stimulus - gambling.
  • Players come to the casino repeatedly, trying to get those emotions. The results of games become less important; they are addicted to the gameplay. Naturally, with such an approach, they will inevitably lose.
  • One of the main problems of gambling addiction is that entirely, no matter how much money a person has, in principle. The gambler must get the emotions they need only from amounts that are meaningful to them. So, the player with thousands will bet hundreds and the millionaire will bet thousands in a single game. The result will be the same — they will both lose everything.
  • As you know, passion in life can be only one. With time, this passion for the game will become everything for gamers. The gambler will steal, cheat and borrow money. He will do anything to continue the game. Morality and family values go to the sidelines, and the player needs a steady rate increase.

Stages of Gambling Addiction

Psychological gaming addiction is also known as gambling addiction. This is a disease, along with alcoholism and drug and sex addiction. These people can join the groups to take their treatment. They will have individual therapy sessions and group training. It is believed that these people need help. They cannot do this by themselves.

  • Typically, in the early stages, people can still control themselves. They calculate the amounts they can afford to lose and try to be within the budget.
  • As gambling addiction progresses, they are no longer under control. They have excuses for any of their actions. Often, at this early stage, the punters start borrowing money. As soon as you start playing on other money, you must recognise and eliminate the problem's existence.
  • In the end, the player falls into a trap. He owes money to everybody; the only way to return it is to win a big win. However, this requires higher stakes. From now on, the player needs money just for a game. And it does not matter how and when tomorrow comes. It does not matter where the money comes from or what was saved. There's only now, and this is when the loss is inevitable. And he continues to play. He even has a strong reason for doing it this way. This is also self-deception. Even if the addicted punter gets a big win, he will not stop, hoping that another big win will shortly come. And the only outcome is the waste of all the money and the bottom of the social ladder.

Who are They, The Addicted Gamblers?

People with gambling addiction are often compared with people with drug addiction. In general, I agree with this comparison. Gambling addiction is a pretty strong addiction. Instead of drugs, these people get their dose of intense emotions, adrenaline and endorphins, which enter the blood at big wins and bonus games. The longer he fuels his passion, the stronger his addiction.

Perhaps you have heard the expression, "there is only one passion". The player has his passion — the game, which overrides all other life aspects. Family, jobs, and hobbies are no longer critical. Even if money loses value, the punter starts spending it quickly.

Money Value

Outside of gambling, money has no priority in the life of the addicted gambler. On a subconscious level, he does not believe he will get a winning. His thoughts are as follows: "Whether to leave a big tip at the restaurant? Why not? Tonight, I am going to win or lose hundreds of thousands. This 1000 tip is nothing!" The game becomes an obsession. Soon enough, he even dreams of big winnings, pokies, etc. In this case, gambling addiction already controls the subconscious, and you need help (read below).


Like drug addiction, gambling addiction also requires a continuous increase in dose. Playing at the same stakes becomes boring, and the feelings are no longer strong. To experience stronger emotions, you have to raise the stakes higher and higher.

The maximum bets at pokie may be up to $1000 per spin. This stake is also played. The player will get a dose of adrenaline until the amount played is very important.

Entirely no matter how much the player had before the addiction. The millionaire would get bored playing at a 100 AUD bet; he will start with thousands and raise the stakes. The punter with tens of millions will start with tens of thousands and continue building the stakes. Any casino may change your maximum bet as you would like.

The Standard Game Session of The Addicted Gambler

While the player is in the primary and secondary stages of addiction, the regular game session is as follows:

  • The punter can stop when hitting a win. Unfortunately, you think you could win even more right after the withdrawal request. The outcome is either the cancellation of the withdrawal request or a repeated deposit for further play.
  • If the player loses, he will do everything to continue the game. He needs his money back. This was called "the feeling of revenge". Losing cash encourages the player to take thoughtless actions, the only purpose of which is the new game.
  • If the punter has a significant amount on his balance, he will bet higher; if the amount is small, he will start looking for ways to make a deposit or imagine playing big.
  • The metamorphoses from our minds genuinely know no bounds.

Make Sure You Do Not Have a Gambling Addiction

Let us have a little test to find it out. See if you follow the principles of responsible gambling. Below is a list of questions that will show signs of gambling addiction. Answer shortly (yes/no) and see the outcome.

  • Do you play for more than an hour per day?
  • Do you spend more money than your budget is?
  • Have you ever borrowed money for the game?
  • Have you ever chosen the game over the weekend with your family, or have you ever changed the plans because of the game?
  • Have you ever dreamed of a big win at a specific pokie?
  • Have you ever woken up in the middle of the night to play?
  • Have you ever cancelled the withdrawal request for a further play and, in the end, wasted everything?
  • Have you ever noticed that you have to shake hands while anticipating a fats game, or have you ever been in a hurry to play at the pokie?
  • Do you have strong feelings when getting the money that will not be played? Have you ever played them?

By having at least two affirmative answers, the addiction is on its way. If you have more than two affirmative answers, it is good to change your attitude toward gambling and see a specialist who will help you eliminate your gambling addiction.

How to Get Rid of Gambling Addiction

  • The treatment consists of the same steps as alcoholism or drug addiction. Addicted people must understand that there are a lot of pleasures in life besides the game. He will not return when he realises how good a life without loans is.
  • You cannot get rid of it on the same day. It will lead to a complicated situation; you will be eager to play. You must gradually reduce the amount you can afford. Using this amount, you must plan your expenses. Slowly, the amount will be lowered to the minimum, and this will be a play for fun rather than a real problem. After that, it will not be a problem to stop playing.
  • Several ways will help you control your gambling spending. Some of them are strongly recommended others will require time to apply the limits.

Set The Bank Limits

The first method of dealing with gambling addiction is the card limits on online transactions. You may ask your bank to set limits on online purchases. You may ask for daily, weekly and monthly limits. Over time the interest in micro-stakes will show up, and the problem involving significant expenses will be solved.

Game Limits

Many serious casinos are worried about their client's state of mind and are concerned about gambling addiction. The punters get the opportunity to set daily, weekly and monthly limits. You cannot continue the game or make a deposit when the limit is reached. To change the limit, you will have to wait a week.

This is different from the first method by the possibility of gradually reducing the limits. Or you can even increase them on some special days, followed by a decrease. Getting rid of it will be much more comfortable than in the first method. The complexity of this method is the possibility of quick registration in a new casino; no limits are set. You have to register all the available casinos and ask for support to block your account or ask the bank to take in and out of online transactions with a particular operator. After making a deposit, call your bank and block all other outgoing transactions except the provided operator. After that, you can only play at the selected online casino, where you will control the expenses.

Contact a Specialist

In general, this method should be used only in very advanced cases. The particular groups where the therapy is practised may be found in big cities. The cost of such services may vary significantly. You can try to find help online, but the first two methods are usually more effective.

Use More Than One Method (Complex Approach)

  • In my opinion, you should use several ways together. For example, if your budget allows you to safely lose $500 per month, it is worth setting a weekly limit of $170 at the bank level. It is essential to ask the operator to set the impossibility to change the limit within 30 business days at your request.
  • Then use the second method and block your play at the casinos with no stake limits or ask the operator to set a specific casino as an exception.
  • I am sure that after a few months, you will experience the same strong feelings while playing at micro-stakes, which will help you eliminate your gambling addiction. At the same time, you will actively control the expenses, giving you extra motivation to self-control.

The more you limit yourself, the more beautiful you will be. Ultimately, you will eliminate the gambling addiction and not return to him.

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Written by Vladislav Dibrov
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