What Are the Characteristics of Gambling Behavior and Addiction?
Gambling is the act of betting something of worth on an unknown outcome with the intention of winning something more in value as a result of the bet. In its simplest form, gambling simply requires three components to be present: risk, consideration, and a goal. Without the first two elements, gambling would not be gambling at all, but simply chance; without the third, it becomes a skill.
One of the primary characteristics of gambling addiction is that gambling involves an emotional element to it. This can come in many forms; however, one of the most common is a need to win. Whether it is for something smaller such as a discount card at a store or something larger like a house or car, some people will not be able to let go of the need to win. Because this is typically associated with higher risk, the person will usually gamble in a lot more places or at a much higher risk of losing more money.
For example, if you are betting on horse racing you are most likely betting on the possibility of a horse winning. In order to make that guarantee you need to know that there is a 50% chance of that happening. With a little bit of luck and some smart betting, you could very well end up with a lot of your money when you walk away. However, because of the psychological factor, the same situation is not likely to occur with bookmakers or race tracks or even the IRS.
A second characteristic of gambling addiction is that the person is extremely prone to change. This can be caused by multiple stresses in their life that causes them to want to “fix” what ails them. For example, if you are suffering from a broken marriage or have financial troubles, gambling may become a way to deal with these problems. Addictions do not usually start off with something as grand as a casino or show place; it usually starts out with something smaller. This is why gambling addiction is characterized by consistent small losses over long periods of time.
The last characteristic of gambling addiction that is related to the psychological and mental state of the gambler is called “excessively craving.” This means that the person has an intense craving for a particular card or ticket. These crave are extremely powerful and hard to resist. Gambling addicts are constantly searching for that card or ticket and if they do not win that certain card or ticket, then they will go and find it again. This can also lead many people to commit suicide or commit other crimes that are related to gambling.
Although there are many characteristics of gambling behavior and addictions, it is important to point out that all addicts have different needs. Some people suffer from depression or anxiety disorders. Others may just have a poor understanding of how gambling works or a lack of confidence. However, all gambling addicts are just as likely to exhibit the same traits because all gamblers experience a certain amount of “inflation” after each loss.