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Psychological Aspects of Gambling Addiction

What is Gambling?
Gambling consists of making a bet on the outcome of some event. Bets may be placed on horse races, sports contests, or games of chance such as dice, cards, bingo, lottery, slot machines, or roulette. Bets usually consist of money or other assets which are won or lost depending on whether a correct or an incorrect prediction is made. The prospect of winning a large jackpot sometimes motivates people to take unusual financial risks and may lead to gambling addiction. Sites such as RealMoneyAction.com provide information for people who play for real stakes.

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Moral and Legal Prohibitions
Gambling is usually considered immoral because it contributes to greater poverty, and those who lose their money may be tempted to steal or commit crimes to pay their debts or continue gambling. The seven deadly sins are lust, gluttony, greed, laziness, anger, envy, and pride. Gambling is seen as the manifestation of greed and laziness since gamblers desire to get rich quickly with little investment and without working.

In the United States, most states prohibit gambling. Violations of the laws are considered misdemeanors or felonies punishable by fines and prison. However, most gambling statutes only criminalize games of chance in which no skill is required, and they make exceptions for state-controlled gambling and social gambling. The laws are aimed primarily at the type of gambling operations that can be used to finance organized crime.

Exploitation of human frailty
In spite of the moral objections to gambling, many churches and state governments sponsor revenue-generating activities through bingo, lotteries, raffles, and other games of chance which are structured to always pay less than the revenue that they produce. The odds are in favor of the game operator and the gambler has little chance of winning in the long run. It has been been estimated that the chance of getting hit by lightning is much higher than the chance of winning a large lottery jackpot. Even though people understand that the chance of winning is very small, they buy lottery tickets because if they don't play they cannot win, and someone will eventually win. Losing a few dollars is seen as fairly insignificant compared to the prospect of winning millions of dollars. The pressure to increase officially-sponsored gambling is very great because when state governments do not provide ways for people to gamble within the state, millions of dollars drain away to adjoining states that permit gambling.

Psychological and financial incentives
Casinos are some of the most profitable businesses in the world which do not produce a product. Although casinos are highly regulated by government agencies to reduce scams and cheating, the public is seldom aware of the odds of winning any particular game. Casinos have mastered the art of temptation. A barrage of psychological and economic incentives are designed to part you from your money. Once you have have made a bet and lost some money, you have a greater motivation to continue betting in order to recover your losses. Unless you are extremely disciplined and stop betting, trying to recover a gambling loss can start a vicious cycle in which you keep losing against the casino. In the end, the casino always wins because the odds are stacked in its favor.

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Psychological Incentives:

Financial Incentives:

When is Gambling a Problem?
Gambling is a problem when a person cannot control how much he or she spends. A slot machine in the high roller area may cost from $100 to $500 per pull. It is easy to lose thousands of dollars in five minutes of play. This is more than a typical person can earn in any job or profession. Here are some of the signs that a person needs help:

Take this quick quiz to determine whether you have a gambling problem.

If you answered "yes" to any of these questions, you should consider counseling.

Learning Discipline
Here are some suggestions to keep gambling from becoming a problem in your life:

Search for topics related to Gambling:

Sample Search Results for Gambling Addiction:

Gamblers Anonymous: Q and A
Only you can make that decision. Most people turn to Gamblers Anonymous when they become ... insidious, compulsive addictions will require diligent effort. ...
www.gamblersanonymous.org/qna.html - 17k

Stop Gambling Addiction and Changing Bad Habits
How to let go and stop gambling addiction. ... simply ask yourself the easy-to- learn and easy-to-remember questions that make up The Sedona Method. ...
www.sedona.com/html/Gambling.aspx - 37k

Gambling Addiction Enabler: UFC 91
That means if you bet $174 on Florian and he wins, you make $100. ...
www.cagepotato.com/2008/11/13/gambling-addiction-enabler-ufc-91/ - 53k

Gambling Addiction and Problem Gambling: Signs, Help, and Treatment
Gambling addiction, also known as compulsive gambling, is a type of impulse- control .... since stress can trigger compulsive gambling or make it worse. ...
www.helpguide.org/mental/gambling_addiction.htm - 47k

Gambling Addiction Treatment Counseling Compulsive Gamblers ...
That means understanding your situation and fully addressing questions or concerns so you can make the decision for recovery through gambling addiction ...
www.aplaceofhope.com/gambling-treatment.html - 36k

Overcoming Gambling Addiction - The Toughest Bet to Make
Overcoming Gambling Addiction - The Toughest Bet to Make. Gambling is one of the oldest practices or sins committed by man. Just like womanizing, gambling ...
www.ineedmotivation.com/artccuregamblingaddiction.htm - 24k

Overcome Gambling Addiction Hypnosis Script | Hypnosis Downloads.com
Shatter the gambling illusion with the Overcome Gambling Addiction Hypnosis Script. Gamblers make good hypnotic subjects as they regularly fall into a ...
www.hypnosisdownloads.com/scripts/hypnotherapy/gambling-addiction.html - 27k

Gambling Phd.com - The Psychology of Gambling
The psychology of gambling can be best understood if one examines the two extreme views regarding what gambling is. On one hand, there are those who view ...
www.gamblingphd.com/gambling-psychology.htm - 16k

Gambling psychology offers insight into self-control, risk-taking ...
Are gamblers impulsive? Why do people engage in behaviors they know are harmful to them in the long run? Why do we give in to that incredible chocolate cake ...
news-info.wustl.edu/news/page/normal/570.html - 42k

Psychology Today's Diagnosis Dictionary: Compulsive Gambling
Psychology Today's Diagnosis Dictionary, definitive resource for psychological terms and info, Compulsive Gambling.
www.psychologytoday.com/conditions/gambling.html - 33k

Psychology Today: Gambling: The Pipe Dream Payoff
Why high rollers think they'll hit it big. Nando Pelusi, Ph.D., says we'd bet the farm for a shot at the jackpot.
www.psychologytoday.com/articles/pto-4048.html - 45k
More results from www.psychologytoday.com »

Schedules of Reinforcement - Operant Conditioning
Gambling and lottery games are good examples of a reward based on a variable ratio schedule. ... Learning Study Guide - Psychology of Learning - Study Guide ...
psychology.about.com/od/behavioralpsychology/a/schedules.htm - 22k

The Psychodynamics and Psychology of Gambling: The Gambler's Mind ...
As such, there is much about this volume that will be useful to academics who are researching gambling psychology. The book presents a wealth of historical ...
psychservices.psychiatryonline.org/cgi/content/full/55/6/728 - Similar pages

Gambling getaways from $99 a night - Deals- msnbc.com
The best gambling vacations put you right in middle of the action. Whether you' re into high-stake poker games, penny slot machines, world-class ...
www.msnbc.msn.com/id/27810062/ - 91k

Effects of Problem Gambling
For more information about the effects of problem gambling in specific populations, visit the 'vulnerable populations' page. ...

Gambling Addiction and Problem Gambling: Signs, Help, and Treatment
Problem Gambling and the Family - Learn how gambling addiction affects the family and what family members can do to address the problem. ...
www.helpguide.org/mental/gambling_addiction.htm - 47k

Effects of gambling addiction « Alcohol Self-Help News
7 Jun 2007 ... Excerpted from research: Effects of Problem Gambling. California Council on Problem Gambling (Anaheim, CA); 2006. ...
alcoholselfhelpnews.wordpress.com/2007/06/07/effects-of-gambling-addiction/ - 55k

NSHPP - The Effects of Problem Gambling
It's easy to believe that having a gambling problem only affects the person with the problem. Unfortunately, this isn't true. A gambling problem will also ...
www.gov.ns.ca/ohp/gambling/pg-self-effects.asp - 16k

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