So you’re feeling lucky, have a few bucks on you, and want to see if things will get better if you spin the reels or play a few rounds of Blackjack. There is a psychology that surrounds the habit of gambling and it begins way before you step foot into that casino.
There’s a reason this topic has been heavily researched: people love to gamble! There is usually a chance at getting lucky, but sometimes it comes with a cost. It’s interesting to see the difference in people who just can’t stop even in the face of losing, and those who can walk away when they begin to lose.
We want to dive deeper into this matter and see what exactly causes gamblers to become addicts.
Gambling is Everywhere
Land-based casinos are everywhere, you can find them in America, Europe, Asia, and if in the least likely chance that you don’t live near one, you have online-casinos. They are everywhere. Fun fact: the country with the highest number of casinos is surprisingly the United States (surprising because gambling is illegal in many states) followed by France.
If you live in a country, state, or region that doesn’t allow commercial gambling than you probably have other forms of gambling such as lotteries, charitable gambling, or even Native American gaming. Yes, gambling doesn’t just mean poker and slots!
We can’t forget Las Vegas, or as we like to call it: Disney World for adults. It should come as no surprise that Las Vegas has the highest revenue at 6.51 billion!
So the availability of gambling, online and in the real world, is a strong motivator behind the psychology of gambling – it is simply everywhere, accessible with ease. It’s like you wouldn’t go out of your way for some ice cream, but if pass the ice cream parlor every day, you are much more likely to consume more of it.
It Stimulates the Brain
The chances of losing are usually higher than winning. However, every time we roll the dice or spin the reel there’s the adrenaline pumping sensation that gets the endorphins going. Before we even learn if we won or lost, the act of gambling makes us feel great, specially with attractive and fun themes like our Fruity Friends slot. We know we probably going to lose (the house always wins, remember?) still, it’s fascinating how we are so inclined to take that risk.
While gamblers can’t control the outcome, they can control the input. It gives them that illusion that they are in control. Sadly, the only thing that is in control is chance, the chance to maybe win. We get tricked, by our own brain, into believing we’re in control.
The excitement activates the striatum in the brain. It’s the part of the brain that makes us feel like we’re doing a great job and motivates us to keep going. It is sometimes referred to as the brain’s Reward Center. It’s not the most knowledgeable canter there is: It doesn’t differentiate between gambling, and winning a noble peace prize.
There’s a lot of excitement and a false sense of optimism that comes along with gambling, specially when you are offered a welcome package such as with the lights free spins slot. It’s a part of our psyche to believe that we’re the exception and today we’ll be the one to hit that jackpot. It’s a lovely thought but sadly, it’s just our brain playing tricks on us. The reality? Most of us lose when we gamble. It’s statistically proven that the majority of people lose more than they win. You may want to think again.
Finding the Right Balance
We get it, it’s fun, because maybe you will win. We also so sadly disprove, however, of your constant desire to gamble more and more. There is a perfect mindset you need to adopt, in order to avoid the pits of addiction: be both realistic AND optimistic. If you mustered that, you’re in the clear.
With more than 15 million people addicted to gambling, it’s a challenging task to quit. And addiction is a slippery slope: once you can’t kick one habit, others might start to pile on. You are at risk becoming addicted to drugs, food, alcohol and much more. Not so fun!
Gambling addicts are more likely to suffer from a depression. So finding that healthy balance between realism and optimism will keep you safe down the road.
At first it’s all just fun, spin, and wins. Until you get addicted. So watch out!
How to Play it Safe
While gambling doesn’t impair your physical state, it can be just as addictive as substances. There is a feeling of euphoria when we play and those vulnerable to addiction can more easily become dependent on those psychological triggers.
It doesn’t matter how responsible a person you are, the strongest types of people can become susceptible to gambling addiction. Irresponsible behavior may be displayed in order to maintain that euphoria, it doesn’t matter what walk of life that person comes from. Whether you’re rich or struggling, and no matter what your financial background is, you definitely want to avoid incurring a mountain of debt and keep that healthy balance we discussed earlier.
An addict is an addict. The same functions of the brain are triggered in all addicts. It’s those psychological feelings of euphoria and serotonin that empower gamblers. There is hope though. Compulsive gambling is a treatable psychological problem.