Gambling is the act of betting something of value against an unknown outcome with the aim of winning something else for the same value; for example, to win money at a race. Gambling therefore requires three components for it to exist: risk, consideration, and a reward. The risk that is involved here is what allows the game of gambling to happen in the first place: whatever you put away in wagers you are inevitably going to win, but it might be very hard to win big. The risk then is in the expectancy of the result: although we can’t know what will actually happen, we can’t know what will happen in the next 50 days, a week, or even a month, and even a year, so we don’t have a complete guarantee of what will happen. Consideration then is what makes the game of gambling worth playing. We need to consider both the risks involved and the rewards in order to gain the full benefit of the gamble.
Like many things in life, gambling can be both good and bad. It can be the gateway into and out of addiction, but also can cause serious problems within the person’s life. Many times, people who gamble are unaware of the extent of their addiction, especially since many gamblers will tell themselves that they are only occasional gamblers, not addicted. Gamblers may also add alcohol to the mix, either to keep the casino offers up or as a way to “feel good” when they’re already in a highly strung emotional state.
The reason why casinos and lotteries are a lot more difficult to stop than other vices is because they are based on emotion. Gambling creates feelings within us that are similar to those that we have when we gamble, namely, excitement, hope, and accomplishment. These feelings keep us going when we are trying to stop, and these feelings are often coupled with feelings of guilt or shame for indulging in the behavior. The combination of these types of emotions can be extremely difficult to resist, and can make it very difficult to stop gambling even when the gambling is not happening as frequently as it is for the gambler.
A good analogy of this is smoking. Many people know that smoking is bad for them, so they don’t get a cigarette on a consistent basis. However, if they are able to completely avoid smoking at all times, there is a very high chance that they will never use tobacco again. This is because, even though the odds of having a cigarette at any given time are low, the amount of time that passes between occurrences is very long, making the secondary effects of smoking much more pronounced. While it may not be possible to completely give up gambling, by making changes to your gambling habits, you may be able to significantly reduce the amount of money that you spend in a week on unnecessary gambling activities.
One of the most common causes of addictions is depression. This can cause gamblers to lose more money than they had before, because the person has to rely on their depressed state of mind to feel like they can stop gambling. Gamblers are exposed to a number of stressful factors in their everyday lives and having no outside influence to take their mind off gambling can create a downward spiral of problems. Depression can lead to a lack of productivity, can interfere with relationships, can cause a person to give into addictive behaviors out of boredom, and can cost a person a great deal of money over time due to compulsive behavior and the inability to stop gambling until they reach a point where it is too late to reverse their decisions. Gamblers who suffer from depression should seek help from a professional before they decide that gambling is their only way out.
Many gamblers who do not have a problem gambling also suffer from other problems related to anxiety and stress. Gamblers who are constantly stressed and anxious are usually moody and have a poor sense of judgement. This can easily lead them to making poor decisions when gambling, which can end up costing them money and alienating their close friends and family. Depression can cause gamblers to lose their jobs, lose relationships, lose their hobbies and cause a variety of other life changing issues, so it is important to seek treatment for a problem gambling addiction. There are many doctors and therapists who specialize in treating gambling addicts.