Gambling Addiction

Gambling addiction is probably one of the most deceptive habits, as it promises easy money but can ruin you financially and emotionally. The truth is that the house always wins and this is why casinos are such a lucrative industry to be in. You may win big at times but you will also lose big.

Different Types of Gambling

There are different forms of gambling addictions, such as:

  • Slot machines
  • Card games, eg. Poker and blackjack
  • Lottery
  • Raffles
  • Making bets with friends

Gambling offers a fake promise of sorting out debt, financial ruin, and unemployment. This illusion always leads to a cycle of gambling addiction where the gambler believes that they have to win to make up for all that they have lost.

Gambling offers a high that comes from taking risky bets that pay off now and again.

What Causes a Gambling Addiction?

Many factors cause gambling addiction, such as:

  • Desperation for money
  • Craving the high of winning
  • High social status of being a successful gambler
  • The entertainment of the gambling scene

The sad reality is that once addiction takes a hold on you, it is difficult to break free. Many gamblers are desperate to make money and win back what they lost. When a person finally wins big it is barely enough to cover what was lost. Most gamblers do not come close to making up for their losses.

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Signs of a Gambling Problem

  • You cant quit – most professional poker players understand the concept of gambling. If you are a compulsive gambler you will struggle to have control over both the money and time you are spending gambling. Gambling takes over your whole existence and no matter how hard you try to stay away, you just cannot resist the urge.
  • You gamble with money you cannot afford to lose – compulsive gamblers do not use extra funds they have for betting. They dig deeper and deeper into their pockets and resort to taking out loans or pawning all they have. There have been cases where people have loaned money from shady loan sharks and put their family’s lives at risk.
  • You try to win back what was lost – have you ever attempted to win back money you lost gambling? If you have a gambling problem you are more than likely to believe that you can win the losses back. The truth is that the house always wins and you are not winning, you are throwing money away. This becomes an endless cycle and before you know it you are completely financially, mentally, and spiritually destroyed.
  • You use more and more money – addiction is a progressive disease. Gambling addiction is no different. Compulsive gamblers will never be happy with limitations on how much they should bet. You will be chasing that first rush you felt when you hit it big, only to sink deeper into a hole you cannot get out of.
  • You will do the unthinkable to get money to gamble – problem gamblers do not stop gambling because their bank accounts go into the red. They will borrow, beg, and even steal to support their addiction.
  • Gambling comes first – you will neglect the needs of your family and your responsibilities to gamble.
  • Gambling is not as exciting as it was – you are tired and frustrated and want to stop but you cannot control the compulsion to gamble. You feel more and more guilty and may even have thoughts of suicide.

If you or a loved one is experiencing any of the above signs of gambling addiction, just know that there is a way out. Reach out and get help today. ARCA understands the shame and fear that a gambling addiction brings. Do not think that rehab is only for drug addicts and alcoholics, anything that makes your life unmanageable is a valid addiction and gambling is just as destructive an addiction as any.

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