Gambling addiction: is gambling addiction treatment necessary?

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As you know, gambling can be very addicting, and often certain psychological processes contribute to its strengthening. The results of neurological studies indicate that this phenomenon has many points in common with drug addiction, which is why it will be recognized as a mental disorder.

In many countries, including Malta, Italy, Georgia, Belarus, Russia, Great Britain, there is a system of self-exclusion of players, through which people addicted, for example, to slot machines. under, are removed from the game if they feel a real threat to their own well-being. Thus, it is possible to fight against excessive hobbies for gambling.

The key to overcoming the problem is to get rid of the misconceptions associated with gambling and to understand the psychological processes which, one way or another, can become the first step towards gambling addiction. We have collected for you information that will help you to get a good look at the game and not lose your mind when the shape of slots, poker tables and roulette rolls out. australian casinos.

Gambling addiction – a passion for the casino

Gambling addiction is a person’s dependence on the desire to gamble for real money, be it slots, poker, roulette, and other types of gambling. . Most players lose. Nonetheless, people keep playing, convinced that victory will catch up with them. And this is the explanation of scientists.

One of the reasons people are encouraged to gamble is to experience the pleasure of risk. On the other hand, it’s evasion. The gaming atmosphere appears to players as a sort of alternate reality. At the same time, when the player is surrounded by people and sounds in an environment rich in emotions, stimulation of feelings and sensations.

A less logical, but psychologically proven reason is the belief that the game is glamorous. Mass media and advertising agencies understand the psychology of gambling and often create an elegant, sexy and fashionable image of gambling. In movies and on television, the consumer sees how the heroes have fun an evening at the casino or a half-day at the races. It is often perceived as an “upper society”, towards which the lower and middle classes in particular tend. It is a misrepresentation. Many modern operators today are struggling with this problem, creating special services to identify signs of gambling addiction and online slots.

The next reason is sociality. The game is perceived as part of the national culture, this is particularly characteristic of the foreign mentality.

Therefore, children’s mundane card games with their parents can turn into thirst.

Why does gambling addiction appear?

How to explain the behavior of people who continue to play despite frequent defeats? Many players who have lost large sums instead of stopping in time invest more and more money in the hope of obtaining the expected gains. There are several psychological reasons why some players cannot stop.

Factors affecting the development of gambling addiction

1. Partial “reinforcement”

Reinforcement reinforces behavior. This can be done permanently or partially. The player’s illogical behavior persists for longer, rather when it is partial than with constant reinforcement.

It is a known fact that the player does not expect to win from every bet, therefore, when faced with a loss or even with a losing streak, does not perceive it in a global sense. Players actually expect “reinforcements” from time to time and that expectation motivates them to continue.

2. Availability heuristics

The cases of people who have won the jackpot receive a lot of publicity, thanks to which they are firmly established in the minds of their target audience. Therefore, players may overestimate the likelihood that they too could get a similar prize, as they still have memories of those rare successes. Even when the advantage is not on their side, their mistaken thinking leads to confidence that they have every chance of winning.

3. Deceive the player

People often mistakenly believe that future events occur in a random sequence influenced by past events. This thinking error is extremely common among gamers, which explains the origin of the name of this phenomenon. Cheating on the player can cause people to continue investing in the game even after huge losses, as we are sure they are “pretty much” lucky.

4. Fear of losing

People are generally more sensitive to losses than to gains. In other words, the pain a player feels when losing $ 100 is likely to be much greater than the joy they will feel when winning the same amount. After a losing streak, the player can continue to invest money and time in

excessive amounts, not because the potential gain seems particularly attractive, but because the pain of past losses causes great suffering. About famous Russian player-streamers say this. Even when players know they can’t get all of their lost money back, they often continue to make desperate attempts to get at least part of it back.

5. Illusion of control

Despite the fact that winning at the game is primarily a matter of luck, many players mistakenly believe that they can control the outcome to some extent. Therefore, they can blow on the bones before throwing them, or perform some other ritual before the game begins, believing that such actions will increase their chances of winning. Since people tend to invest in the type of activity, the outcome of which they can influence, the illusion of control actually encourages players to keep trying.

6. Good mood leads to increased thirst for gambling

In recent research, it turned out that there is a link between elements that improve mood (sunny weather, victory of the local sports team) and increased gambling addiction. The explanation is this: a positive attitude increases the willingness to take risks.

7. Change expectations of winning

Greater engagement builds hope. In a study of horse betting enthusiasts, they were asked to rate the odds of their favorite horses before and after placing their bets. Once the bets were placed, players were inclined to think that their horse had a higher chance of winning than before placing a bet.

8. The effect of herd behavior.

When lottery jackpots hit record highs and gain media attention, the mass ticket buying hysteria begins as people decide they don’t want to be left out of the process. At such times, even those who have never played the lottery before will join everyone and buy at least a few tickets.

Why is casino or gambling addiction dangerous?

A game of chance is by definition a random event. At the same time, there are many players who have a firm belief that they can develop a system that will help them win permanently. These are attempts to predict random number patterns (they do not exist) and attempts to choose so-called “hot” slot machines, so-called slot machines, and avoid “cold” ones (for example). example, playing a slot machine that has not produced payouts for a long time, believing that “pretty much” will happen), and, to the point of absurdity, performing ritualistic actions so that the series of gains don’t stop. And all of these are misconceptions that need to be controlled so that gambling remains only a part of life, an enjoyable pastime, and does not bring destruction to a person’s life.

Some statistics

However, is the problem of gambling addiction becoming more and more global and serious? Experts have found that the percentage of drug addicts globally has not increased, despite such active spread of gambling injuries in various forms in jurisdictions where it is legal.

Thus, in the framework of the first study, conducted in 1999-2000, scientists interviewed 2,613 respondents, asking them questions about their involvement in gambling.

Experts were interested in how often a person plays slot machines, places bets, buys in the lottery. Then the same questions were asked of other people a decade later, but 2,963 people took part in the second survey.

The results of the study shocked scientists. Although gambling has become more accessible and more important, the percentage of drug addicts has remained the same.

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