Gambling Addiction And Its Consequences
Gambling is the habitual wagering, usually something of worth on some occasion with the intention of winning something more valuable. Gambling involves three elements for it to be considered a sport: risk, consideration, and a wager. These are all three things that a gambler must have in order to make a profit from gambling:
The first element, risk is what makes any gambling activity risky. The more risk involved in a situation, the more unpredictable the outcome can be. This element is what keeps gamblers from placing their entire eggs in one basket and considers all possible outcomes. For example, if someone were to bet on a horse race and it won and then lost in the following two races, he/she would be gambling for a loss just like the person who put the winnings in a cookie jar and never took the money out. Likewise, if someone were to bet on a basketball game and the game was canceled the day before, that person would be gambling for a loss because he/she did not have the money for the tickets. The only thing that is certain in all of these examples is that people will always gamble, regardless of the outcome.
The second element, consideration, is what separates gambling addiction from other addictions. People who do not gamble for a living will rarely consider their actions as addictions because they do not take into account the money they spend. Gamblers who are not concerned about the money usually do not consider their actions as addictions because they do not place a price on their actions. A gambling addict, however, sees gambling as a source of income. He/She uses the money for its purpose, betting it on more bets than usual, placing larger bets than normal, spending more time and money than is normal for that particular person, and generally using the money as though it were something of great value. This type of addiction is more serious than the type of addiction caused by gambling in most cases because it destroys the financial and emotional well-being of the gambler and his or her family.
The final element, illegal gambling may also involve a lot of money or a lot of people. Gambling in the United States has been made legal through state laws. Many states across the country have legalized gambling through means of taxation. In states where gambling is illegal, individuals can still partake in wagering as a form of recreation, but they may be subjected to a lot of risk or penalties. Therefore, it is not uncommon for a person to get arrested for breaking state law.
Gambling addiction is also very different from other addictions because the person has a deep sense of love for the game of gambling. It is not the result of some chemical imbalance in the brain; it is not the result of some emotional disconnect. In all of the cases above, the addiction results from a deeper problem. The addict simply cannot stop gambling and has to find some way of dealing with those feelings before getting help with their addiction.
One of the more common reasons why gambling behavior is treated with addiction treatment is due to the large amount of loss that is commonly experienced by those that engage in this activity. Gambling addicts go through a lot of different emotions after they realize that they have incurred some monetary loss. These people usually feel extremely guilty and are unable to stop themselves from spending money. They have to find a way to deal with their financial crisis, which often leads them right into an addiction problem. This is why treatment is often so effective in treating gambling addictions.