Gambling addiction: different factors


People who are addicted to gambling suffer from compulsive gambling. They often lose their entire fortune on slot machines such as, through betting or in casinos. Gambling can become serious due to the fact that gambling addiction consequences can be intense. Gambling addiction is an illness that can usually be dealt with successfully with professional help.

Psychosocial Factors

Gambling addicts often have low self-esteem from early negative experiences. Gambling addicts often report having a troubled relationship with their father. If parents do not take sufficient account of their needs in early childhood, this can have far-reaching consequences.

An important social factor is that games of chance are socially acceptable to some extent. The lottery game, for example, is not only publicly advertised, but also offered in many shops. This promotes gambling addiction. Machines for games of chance are not only found in gambling halls, restaurants and bars also offer them.

Biological Factors

The creeping development of gambling addiction seems to take place in the brain’s reward system. The so-called mesolimbic system in your brain is conditioned to the stimuli that the fast and risky game triggers. The mesolimbic system is related to positive emotions. That depends mainly on the messenger substance dopamine. Gambling can lead to an increased release of dopamine. The messenger substance triggers pleasant emotions, rewards these behaviors, and draws your attention to them. With excessive gambling, the effects of dopamine decrease. Because the body has got used to the messenger substance and no longer reacts so strongly to it. However, the player would like to experience the feeling of reward again. To do this, he has to extend the playing times or use higher sums of money.

Addicting the games

The addictive potential of the games is based on the way the games are structured and their availability. Most games of chance are played quickly and thus create a certain kick. The games also create the illusion that the player can control them and remain in control. If the player loses, the result is often narrow and tempts to try again. Instead of real money, substitute values ​​are often used, e.g. chips or points. The connection to the real value of money is lost in this way.