Gambling, as any one who has played the lottery or knows a gambler knows, is all about chance. In reality, the chance is just a part of gambling, because if there is no luck in the gambling process there would be no gambling. Gambling is simply the wagering of something of worth or value against an unknown outcome with an uncertain result, typically with the aim of winning more money or other merchandise. Gambling thus needs three elements for it to be valid: risk, consideration, and a prize to be won. Of these, the risk refers to whatever price one is willing to pay to win the game; the consideration is what will be used as the stakes; and the prize is what will be given to the person winning the game. It is, in short, a game of chance.
As stated earlier, gambling is all about chance, which makes it tempting to simply play without thinking, which leads to many forms of addictions. One type of gambling addiction is internet gambling, where players log on to different gambling websites and place bids on certain numbers, while following a pre-set strategy. Internet gambling addiction, also known as compulsive gambling disorder, can be extremely addictive. This type of addiction is most likely to take over a person’s entire life and includes physical dependence as well as social embarrassment and sometimes financial loss.
Other types of gambling addictions are due to acting out of habit, boredom, or a need for recognition or a thrill. Some gambling addictions, such as betting on horse races, are more likely to develop into a full-blown addiction, requiring medical treatment. It should be noted that all addictions require some sort of expenditure. For instance, a person who is interested in surfing the internet will spend time visiting different sites, downloading various software and using different web browsers, among other things. All this will be an example of a form of gambling behavior.
Of course, there are several different types of addictions including the classic casino gambling addiction, online poker addiction, internet gambling addiction and higher risk poker addictions, where players are constantly exposed to increasing levels of risk. The risk in such cases is high, as the potential for losing money is always present. High risk gambling addictions such as online poker are easier to identify, as the money that is lost can be recovered, but for higher risk high rollers, recovery is more difficult. Nevertheless, if detected early, it can be managed and rehabilitation possible.
One of the common characteristics of gambling addictions is that they have a negative impact on the person’s personal life, social and professional life. Negative impact includes isolation from family, friends, work and often a lack of social interaction. It is therefore important to seek help for any gambling addiction. If the problem is recognized before it worsens, then recovery is much more likely. It is also important to recognize that, even when gambling has no direct physical impact on the gambler, the victim may still suffer from a loss of self-confidence, low self esteem, anxiety about future losses and the fear that others will laugh at or ridicule him for his gambling behaviour.
Many people feel uncomfortable discussing gambling with other people, which is understandable because gambling problems are often sensitive topics. However, the sooner that an addiction problem is recognized, the easier it is to treat. A gambler should ask himself: “What are my problems? Am I a gambler?” before he starts to gamblers.